President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to Nigerians and the international community for understanding over the postponement of the country’s general election, assuring that the postponement will not affect the May 29 hand over date.
The elections, which were initially scheduled for February 14 and 28, were postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to March 28 and April 11, 2015.
The INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega, who the issue of security and the need to evenly spread the distribution of permanent voters cards across the country reasons for the shift in dates.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati, Jonathan said despite the change in dates, the handover date to the next administration remains May 29, 2015.
The statement reads: “Following the adjustment of the dates for the 2015 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11, yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan has reassured the nation of his commitment to the sanctity of May 29, 2015 as the terminal date of his first term in office.
“He strongly reaffirms that May 29 is, has been, and will remain sacrosanct.
“The President appeals to all stakeholders to accept the adjustment of the election dates by INEC in good faith, as the electoral body has a responsibility to conduct credible elections in which every Nigerian of voting age is afforded the opportunity to exercise their civic right without any form of hindrance.
“President Jonathan believes that this is not a time to trade blames or make statements that may overheat the polity, but a time to show understanding and support the electoral commission to conduct the elections successfully.
“It is the President’s understanding that INEC’s decision ought not to generate acrimony since it acted within its powers under the law and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
“He calls on the international community, civil society and the electorate to continue to support the administration’s commitment to a free, fair, credible, and non-violent electoral process.”