A cross section of Nigerians in Europe have called for the resignation of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
They stated this on Saturday against the backdrop of the postponed presidential elections from Feb. 16 to Feb. 23.
In telephone interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bern, they expressed disappointment over the development.
The callers described the development as “sad and insensitive’’ and a conspiracy against the Buhari administration.
Mr Bayo Michael, Chairman of the Nigeria in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) Brussels, said that the decision taken by INEC ‘’reeks of insensitivity, irresponsibility and incompetence”
“In saner climes, his announcement would have been followed by a letter of resignation.
“However, unless you are directly involved in the decision making, it can be hard to empathise with or understand the logic behind some decisions taken,” he stressed.
Similarly, Mr Godwin Azu, a political analyst in London described the postponed election as “highly suspicious and unacceptable”.
“We in the diaspora are highly disappointed with the 11th hour development by INEC.
“This is greatly unprofessional of an election umpire at a highly volatile election moment to cancel an election on the day of election.
“Many of our Diasporas who have travelled to join the international community and domestic observers to observe the election, I’m sure are equally shocked and disappointed on the turn of events.
“The very credibility of INEC chairman and his entire team is now at stake.
“He has to legitimately prove his innocence and genuine honesty for making the final decision to postpone the elections on the 11th hour,” Azu said.
In the same vein, Dr Rita Odey, a member of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) said that the move was to discourage people from performing their civic responsibility.
“People travelled from Europe to Nigeria for this purpose under tight circumstances. To postpone an election on the day of voting speaks volume.
“INEC had four years to plan for this election, if it couldn’t deliver as we are now made to believe, it should have announced it since Feb.1, in order for people to adjust their plans.
“This is a grand conspiracy against the Buhari administration.
“Nigerians must rise against this by turning out en mass to vote next Saturday.’’
Others who spoke from Spain, Germany and Italy said they were not against the postponement but the timing of the announcement.
While urging INEC to make adequate preparations ahead of the new dates slated for voting, they called on voters to be resilient and committed to their civic responsibility.
NAN gathered that a large number from the Europe diaspora, who registered in their local constituencies, are in the country to vote and also serve as observers in the elections.
Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam (NAN)