Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Saturday, lamented last-minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections which he said caused a great inconvenience to many Nigerians.
Saraki stated this in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
However, the Senate President appealed to Nigerians not to be discouraged by the rescheduling, but to remain determined to cast their votes for their preferred candidates.
Saraki, who is also the Director of Atiku Campaign Organisation expressed disappointment that after preparations by the electoral commission, security services and other agencies of government, issues of logistics and related matters were said to be responsible for postponing the elections.
“Waiting till just a few hours to commencement of voting before announcing postponement of elections is extremely sad.
“Nobody can quantify the difficulty that this will bring to people at every level. I empathise with youth corps members who have been relocated from their places of primary assignment to assist with the conduct of the elections.
“My thoughts also go to civil servants who left their bases to go and vote in their hometowns.
“I also sympathise with millions of ordinary Nigerian traders whose businesses were suspended because of the no movement order. Thus, the costs of this postponement are incalculable,” he said.
Saraki appealed to Nigerians not to be deterred, discouraged or disappointed.
“Next Saturday, they should try and forget the current setback and troop out en masse to vote for their preferred candidates.
“Not voting because of the postponement is not a good option for Nigerians. My appeal to our people is that we must still go out next Saturday to exercise our franchise.
“At this point, government and INEC should focus on what is the way forward and ensure that the elections take place as rescheduled. They should move swiftly to smoothen all the rough edges.
“The commission must ensure we do not have a repeat of what happened today. We have been saying it that the 2019 elections should be a clear improvement on that of 2015,” he said.