By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described the postponement of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) few hours to the kick off of polls as ‘obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.
The electoral body had in the early hours of Saturday announced a postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections to February 23, while the Governorship, State House of Assembly, as well as Federal Capital Territory Area Councils elections were shifted to March 9.
The former Vice President in a statement he personally signed him Saturday said that the plan of the presidency and INEC was to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts.
He stated: “The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019.
“This postponement is obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date. Nigerians must frustrate their plans by coming out in even greater numbers on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively.
“Knowing that the Nigerian people are determined to reject them, they are desperate and will do anything in their power to avoid their rejection by the Nigerian people,” he added.
Atiku therefore called on all Nigerians to be patient, stressing that the maladministration of this government had been tolerated for four years.
According to him, “We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes. Maintain the peace and be law abiding. Do not react to this provocation with anger, violence or any action that might be exploited by those who do not want this election to hold. Remain calm. We will overcome this. You can postpone an election, but you cannot postpone destiny.”
The former Vice President also urged Nigerians to come out in very large numbers to vote on February 23 and March 9 in order to frustrate those who do not want the elections to hold, noting that is the best antidote to their plans.