Presidential Candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) Fela Durotoye has urged Nigerians not to be discouraged in exercising their civic rights despite the postponement of the 2019 general elections.
“We all woke up to the news this morning to very disappointing news that INEC has postponed the elections by a week- and too many people are just so disappointed. Please do not be discouraged. Do not be disappointed, this is the reason we need a new Nigeria,” Durotoye said in a video.
Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the general elections a few hours to the commencement.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu, while stating reasons for postponing the elections, said it was a difficult decision to take.
“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” INEC boss Mahmood Yakubu said at a press briefing on Saturday morning in Abuja.
The postponement of the election scheduled to commence Saturday, February 16 with the presidential and National Assembly elections has spurred different reactions from the ruling party, opposition parties and some sections of the Nigerian public expressing disappointments.
However, Durotoye believes that the election period is the opportunity for Nigerians to make the country a better place, thus urging them not to be discouraged.
Durotoye said “We are tired of this old Nigeria. This is why we would not be discouraged. We are disappointed, but we will not be discouraged.”
He added that “A new Nigeria- where elections will hold on time, where technology will make it easy to register to transfer your permanent voters’ card (PVCs) to vote. Most importantly where Nigerians in the diaspora will be able to vote.”
Durotoye is one of the younger upstarts hoping to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari in the race for Nigeria’s top job. He is considered as part of the third force separated from the more established duo of Buhari and the People’s Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar.
INEC said the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 23 while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 9.