A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Badagry Local Government and former Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Tourism in Lagos State, Hon. Philip Aivoji, has said the polls shift announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was in the best interest of the country as it saved the nation from monumental embarrassment.
In a chat with newsmen at the Badagry Local Government PDP Secretariat on Thursday, the former Commissioner stated that considering the reasons advanced by the INEC, the postponement was in order as anything that would make the election less credible must be avoided.
Aivoji noted that millions of Nigerians who had yet to collect the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) would have been disenfranchised if the elections were not postponed, adding that the INEC’s position on the postponement was correct since the electoral body acted within its powers under the law and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
The PDP chieftain lauded the move by INEC, considering the fact that almost 35percent of the electorate had not collected their (PVCs) coupled with security challenges and other logistical and operational inadequacies that ought to have been addressed by INEC before the polls shift.
“It was the best decision in the circumstances and we must commend INEC for its boldness to take the right decision despite the negative propaganda by the opposition All Progressives Congress APC”.
He stated that the INEC boss, Professor Attahiru Jega, acted in good faith to have announced the election shift after admitting in his presentation to stakeholders that the commission would do better if the election dates were shifted, appealing that INEC must now endeavour to ensure that all eligible Nigerians are not denied their constitutional rights to participate in the election of those they want to lead them in the next four years.
Aivoji further stressed that the electoral body admitted that a bit more time of additional preparations would enable the commission improve and perfect the current level of preparedness in the areas of public enlightenment, sensitization and voter education as well as the hands-on-training of ad-hoc election personnel, given the new technology of permanent voter’s cards and card readers.
The former Commissioner, who exonerated the PDP from any pressure on INEC to shift the election dates as been alleged in some quarters, stated that it was glaring to the whole world that the PDP was adequately prepared for the election and the party would have emerged victorious if the elections were held.
He, however, appealed to members of the PDP across the nation not to relent in their efforts in ensuring that the party secures a resounding victory at the rescheduled polls, more so that the PDP remains the most populated in numerical strength which puts it in strong position to win the elections