Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked the youths in the country to begin to blame themselves and not old people.
Jonathan said this while reacting to the delayed voting exercise at his polling unit, adding that it is an indictment of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).
The former president said this while addressing journalists after he and his wife, Patience cast their vote in the Bayelsa governorship election at ward 8, polling unit 39, Otuoke, Ogbia local government area of the state.
INEC officials arrived at Jonathan’s polling unit three hours after the time scheduled for the commencement of the exercise.
He said, “We cannot conduct election in a crisis situation. Whatever we do in selecting who will be our president, governors, local government chairmen reflect on our society and if you bring people that are not competent, you cannot turn round to begin to blame government. Nigerians are so quick at blaming people in authority without blaming ourselves.”
“Look at even this voting, I was here 19 minutes after 8:00am. Election was supposed to start 8:00am. And I have made observation mission in many other African countries and we used to go there 30 minutes before starting. In our reports, we indicate exactly when the vote starts because if you start after that time, it is an indictment on the electoral body that manages the election. There is no reason why election should not be start at 8:00, but at 19 minutes after 8, there was nobody here.
“All the people managing the elections are very young people, you the youths should stop blaming the old people. You should begin to blame yourselves. I was here, no INEC officials to conduct the elections, no security personnel to man the election, no journalist to observe the election. It was only one online medium house that I met, no single observer that I met here, even the voters were not here. I have never observed that in any other African country, so we Nigerians must begin to look inward and ask ourselves what is our problem? Can we begin to do things properly. We cannot do things awkwardly and expect the best.”
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Speaking on the delay, Nwachukwu Orji, resident electoral commissioner, said it was due to the action of some members of the community who wanted the exercise move elsewhere in the area.
“We were at the government secondary school, Otuoke, but they (community members) wanted us to move over to Otuoke town hall. We insisted on using the designated RAC centre for this election and they disrupted our process. So all the activities including distribution of materials to the PUs that were supposed to take place on the eve of the election had to take place today. So that is main reason for the delay,” he said.