Nigerians on social media have criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for postponing the general elections.
Following a stakeholders meeting which lasted for hours, INEC early on Saturday said it could no longer go ahead with the election.
The commission stated logistics and operational plans as reasons, noting that both elections would be shifted by a week each. The presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on February 23 while state elections will hold on March 9.
Taking to social media, Nigerians attacked INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu. for the last minute decision.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu (2nd, L) and some National Commissioners, at a news conference to announce the shift of Saturday's (today) presidential and National Assembly elections to Feb. 23. The governorship and house of assembly, FCT area council elections have also been shifted from March 2 to March 9.
They also saved some of the criticisms for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari seeking re-election under the platform.
The former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose in his reaction said the INEC Chaiman is acting a script prepared by the presidency.
"@inecnigeria under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is obviously acting a script prepared by the Presidency cabal but Nigerians will defeat them all together."
@inecnigeria under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is obviously acting a script prepared by the Presidency cabal but Nigerians will defeat them all together.
- Peter Ayodele Fayose (@GovAyoFayose) February 16, 2019
" I said it two days ago that they were considering postponement of the elections because they knew that they can't win. Now I have been vindicated. With this postponement, they have only succeeded in making their situation worse. Nigerians will defeat this tyranny ultimately.
Two days ago, I told Nigerians that the Presidency cabal were considering postponement of the elections because they knew that they can't win. Now I'm vindicated. With this, they have only succeeded in making their situation worse. Nigerians will defeat this tyranny ultimately. pic.twitter.com/0ddLrXI3Xb
- Peter Ayodele Fayose (@GovAyoFayose) February 16, 2019
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also said the postponement is "disappointing."
"Mr. President was already in Daura in Katsina State and the VP already in Lagos to vote this morning before the postponement just announced by INEC. This is truly disappointing, but the march to the Next Level continues. Nigeria will prevail"
Mr. President was already in Daura in Katsina State and the VP already in Lagos to vote this morning before the postponement just announced by INEC. This is truly disappointing, but the march to the Next Level continues. Nigeria will prevail
- Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) February 16, 2019
Earlier PREMIUM TIMES published the reactions of the two major parties, APC and PDP, to the postponement. Both condemned it but blamed each other for influencing INEC.
Culled from Facebook and Twitter, below are some of the reactions of the Nigerians to the postponement.
A Twitter user, @ikechukwu887 said "the INEC Chaiman gave no logical reason to postpone the election.
"A Logistical nightmare? We haven't learnt from history in this country. This has taken us to the stone age. The INEC chairman, gave no logical reasons to balance our psyche; which means he saw this coming."
A Logistical nightmare? We haven't learnt from history in this country. This has taken us to the stone age. The INEC chairman, gave no logical reasons to balance our psyche; which means he saw this coming.
- Ike (@Ikechukwu877) February 16, 2019
Lucky John Osagie: Only in Nigeria will election be postponed on election day.
The INEC chairman is as incompetent as Buhari himself. Mad Government.
Tola Gem Omojuwa: We have heard! Thanks to them for the disappointment. It shows their in competence!
Edobor Okao: This is a shame on our government and INEC. The Nation as a whole had four (04) good years to plan for this day. When will we ever get things right in this beloved country?
Gbolahan Oshinowo: Indirectly malami. Letter has been honored. Even Governorship election postponed. I won't be surprise what you will hear next about Zamfara state now. Nigeria is like Nollywood film.
@Adm4bn: Buhari is not ready for a free and fair election... ..someone should tell the tyrant that this is general election and not Osun or Ekiti rigging field... .. He's(Buhari) postponing to frustrate the foreign observers... ... old style... .Nigeria must decide #NigeriaDecides2019
@GbtMascotex: This INEC is a useless commission. After taking four years to prepare for an election and just this morning you are coming up with a trashy,stinking, and unashamed announcement of the postponement. Nigeria is a failed country.
Ikusika Oluwaseyi @Seyikan15: High level of incompetence and a show of shame on the part of INEC,... ..The whole world is watching
Samuel Ederehor @SamuelEderehor: It's a national disgrace.
Pretty Nija @JamesOkene: You must return my flight money. This is unacceptable, imagine the loses Nigerians has gone through, all those that travelled to vote with their hard earned resources. Sad day! #NigeriaDesides2019
Kiki @kikieee_: What happens to all the Nigerians that travelled to vote? Or the corps members sleeping in terrible conditions tonight 😢 #NigeriaDesides2019
kenny Okolugbo @kennyokolugbo: #NigeriaDesides2019 INEC can't be postponing Presidential & National Assembly election on the morning of it Never-happened in history of this Country. We all knew dates of d election about 2 years ago. Yet they talk of logistics 👎 public holidays already declared on Friday!
Bello Shagari @Belshagy: But nothing is more disappointing and disheartening that the postponement of the election on the day of the election.
Youth and Students have invested their time and resources, as well as other stakeholders.
You @basealkaline: Dear Commissioner, you had one job which is to conduct free and fair election and you had 4 years to prepared for it and you failed. If you're an honorable enough I did expect you to honorably resign and let who's capable enough to lead the commission. #NigeriaDesides2019
Iliya Sam: There are people either in government or in opposition working in cohort with some unpatriotic elements in INEC to rig the election and this is a shame. I pray that the government investigate this scandal and make Scape goats out of this elements. This is totally not acceptable in any democratic set up. Why always Nigeria?
Meanwhile, there are some Nigerians, a few, who believe that the postponement is a normal occurrence, for which neither INEC nor the federal government should be blamed.
Some of their reactions are captured below:
Ikechukwu @ikechukwu341: Election has been postponed as expected, there is nothing new about it, this happened in 2011 and 2015, we really need to get our act right in this country, logistics has been a major problems, this is as a result of poor infrastructural deficit over the years #NigeriaDesides2019.
Sani Abdullahi Auchan: still APC all the way!! come rain come sun.