Shortly after INEC chairman, Mahmud Yakubu, announced the postponement of the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections in the early hours of Saturday morning, the Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling party released a statement condemning it.
“We condemn the postponement of the elections but urge our teeming supporters to be patient and determined,” the APC council said in a statement signed by its spokesman, Festus Keyamo.
Perhaps expecting Nigerians to criticise it over INEC’s decision, the ruling party strenuously made the point that it was unaware of INEC’s plans to postpone the election. The spokesman of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, tweeted at about 3:12am that “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…”
APC Council statement: The ruling party said it received the news of the postponement with “great disappointment and disillusionment.”
“We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible. President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it. This news is therefore a huge disappointment to us and to our teeming supporters nationwide and around the world, many of whom have come into the country to exercise their franchise,” Keyamo said.
Tries to put it on the PDP: It is a strange thing when a ruling party begins to act like an opposition. But that’s exactly what the APC tried to do by including what it described as a “rumor” in its statement
“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumor mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition, the PDP, that was NEVER ready for this election… It did the same as the ruling Party in 2015, when it realized the game was up, by orchestrating the postponement of the 2015 elections by six weeks. Now, it may be up to its old trick again,” the statement said.
In other words, the APC is making a strange claim that the PDP caused a postponement when it was in power in 2015 and still has the powers to cause a postponement while the APC is in power.
“We have earlier raised the alarm that the PDP is bent on discrediting this process the moment it realized it cannot make up the numbers to win this election. We are only urging INEC not collude with the PDP on this. We are truly worried because as early as Friday morning, some known PDP Social Media influencers unwittingly announced this postponement, but quickly deleted the message and apologized to the public that it was fake news. We do not want to be forced to a situation of announcing our total loss of confidence in INEC, because we know where that would leave our democracy,” the statement said.