Nigeria Tam Tam: Postponement Of Elections: Fashola Urges Calm, Patience

Posted: 04 Apr 2011 01:00 AM PDT

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Saturday urged the people to remain patient and calm in spite of the huge disappointment caused by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s suspension of the election into the National Assembly.

Governor Fashola who spoke in an interview with newsmen at his family home in Surulere in reaction to the suspension of the elections by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega said there is a need to also examine in more detail, the system failure that led to the suspension adding that a hasty rescheduling should also be avoided.

“The level of preparedness of this election has been called into question now and one wants to also say that it’s too hasty for INEC to suggest that this elections would hold on Monday, if they couldn’t get it right for this long, why should they be rushing into Monday”.

“I think they should meet with all the political parties and I don’t see why they can’t take the opportunity now to take one week to plan and merge the next elections for Saturday with this one. I think this is a better time to check their controls and all their systems to ensure that we do not have another setback by Saturday”, he explained.

The Governor stressed that the decision to shift the polls to Monday is rather hasty, adding that he listened to Professor Jega saying that people haven’t voted, when indeed he as a person has voted at his area in Surulere by 12.45pm which means that the ballot papers are out.

He appealed to the people to keep the peace, no matter how disappointed they are, stressing that: “We must restrain ourselves, remain law abiding and all the security agencies are implored to continue to remain vigilant and be at full alert”.

Reiterating the need for INEC to meet with the various political parties and get things properly organised going forward, Governor Fashola also drew attention to the possibility that students would be writing WAEC exams on Monday, and should not have their exams disrupted again because of the clear failures that have been exhibited by another institution.

“I think it’s also important for INEC to remain calm and focused and get the fullest information about what caused this failure but I want to also advice Lagosians that the reason stated by INEC is that they don’t have the result sheets so it means that in all the places where we have voted, they couldn’t have written the final result, that is the reason they gave”, the Governor said.

Governor Fashola said though a lot of efforts, patience and resources have been committed to it, Nigerians would get it right if everyone remains calm.

“I thank all Lagosians for coming out to participate in this exercise, sometimes this kind of things do happen, they are not excusable but it must be our resolve as a people that we must get it right by remaining patient, alert and keeping the peace”, the Governor said.

The Governor also appealed to candidates who have spent resources in preparation for the election to tell their supporters to remain calm, focussed and steady.

He urged people to collate their experiences which could be ventilated through a medium which government will announce, sharing their experiences with the authorities about where there have been problems which can be related back to INEC to be part of its planning process.

culled from

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