By Samuel Ogundipe
Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the upcoming general elections, has condemned the postponement of the 2015 polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, but urged his supporters to remain calm and resolute in their desire to vote out incumbent President Goodluck E. Jonathan.
Buhari made the submission during a world press conference which he called to formally react to Saturday postponement announcement by the electoral body.
“It is important to note that although INEC acted within its constitutional powers, it is clear that it has been boxed into a situation where it has had to bow to pressure,” he said, alleging that the postponement of the elections shows that “the independence of INEC has been gravely compromised.”
He added that he understands the frustration of Nigerians over the development.
“As a Nigerian and a presidential candidate in the elections, I share in the disappointment and frustration of this decision. This postponement coming a week to the first election has raised so many questions, many of which shall be asked in the days ahead. However, we must not allow ourselves to be tempted into taking actions that could further endanger the democratic process.”
He then called on all the party faithful to “remain resolute and rise above all provocation.”
INEC had in 2014 announced that presidential and National Assembly elections will take place on February 14, 2015 and state level elections will follow on February 28.
But the electoral umpire was forced to shift the dates because of security service chiefs who wrote to him that they cannot provide security for the conduct of the elections should the commission go ahead ahead with the polls as scheduled, citing the need to concentrate all their efforts in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
Newly announced dates of the elections are March 28 for presidential and National Assembly elections and April 11 for the state level polls.