Director Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani Kayode has debunked views being canvassed by the international media that the general elections initially scheduled to take off on February 14 in Nigeria was postponed principally because of Boko Haram issues.
Fani-Kayode said the decision to postpone the elections never emanated from the government of President Goodluck Jonathan as being speculated, but from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) owing to the problem of logistics it encountered.
The Director General PDP Campaign made this known during his brief one-on-one interview session with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) African Service last night.
He said INEC mainly agreed to shift the dates for the scheduled Nigeria’s general elections mainly because; many eligible voters in Nigerian were yet to get their permanent voters cards.
He stressed that the percentage of those who were yet to get the cards were still high as at the time the dates of the elections were shifted.
He said INEC had announced that about 34 percent of eligible voters in Nigeria were yet to get the voting cards, stressing that the scheduled general election could not have been allowed to go on with a high percentage of Nigerians being disenfranchised.
He told the BBC that Boko Haram became part of the problem for postponing the election because the Service Chiefs in Nigeria suggested to INEC that they could not guarantee security during a nationwide election, while the attention of the military would be concentrated on the task of flushing the insurgents out of the north-eastern part of Nigeria where they have been holding sway.
He debunked speculations that Boko Haram has now assumed an influence on politics in Nigeria to the extent of causing the change of election dates in in the country.
He said although the insurgents before now were operating freely in some parts of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with spate of bombings, the military had responded and fought valiantly to push them to the north-east zone of the country.
He, however, gave kudos to the Nigerian soldiers who he said did a remarkable job in containing the rampaging activities of members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in Nigeria.
Fani-Kayode said the postponement of the Nigeria’s general election has never affected the preparations of the PDP, noting that the party was ever ready to go full blast into the election if they had had been allowed to hold on the scheduled dates.
He reiterated the preparedness of the ruling party for the next general election as he boasted that the party would win resoundingly any time the elections take place.
On whether or not the PDP would support any further postponement in the event of inability of the military to effectively contain the insurgents in the north-east as proposed by the Military, Fani-Kayode said the constitution of Nigeria has given limitations on the number of days elections should hold before a hand over of power date.