The Social Democratic Party (SDP) Presidential Candidate, Mr Donald Etim Duke has described the postponement of the presidential election scheduled for Saturday, February 16th as a coup against Nigeria.
Speaking with newsmen in his residence in Calabar, Duke regretted the postponement, saying that the postponement was a national embarrassment and disgrace.
“The folks have come all over the world to observe and monitor our elections, Nigerians have travelled length and breadth to go and participate in the civic responsibilities, all of the sudden, our so-called Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the elections, it is totally unheard of.
“You don’t postpone election like that, not even a week before the elections but four hours. Now, if you are a participant in this election, you have your agents spread throughout the length and breadth of this country, you financially empowered them because they are going to take money for accommodation, feedings and all sort of things, then last minutes, this happened, all that money is wasted, you got to start all over again.
“It is a trick, well scripted and it has been taken to the next level, this trick was to breed the opposition financially, PDP started this nonsense but this government has taken it to the next level, theirs was a week before the election but this guy has taken it to four hours into the election.
“We all know that the government in power has unlimited access to finance but the opposition does not, so by the time you get to election day, the opposition would be exhausted or barely able to go through the process again, they have only one week to raise funds, you are not talking about pittance here, we are talking about millions and billions of naira because we are talking about National elections” he said.
Mr Duke said, “It is impossible for INEC to do this without consultation with government, usually; government can even instigate them to do this for one reason or the other. It is sad, I just imagine, the way the rest of the world will look at us.
“There is nowhere that INEC could postpone the election without collaboration with the federation. The action was an international disgrace, we are a nation so compromised, our sycophancy has taken another form, we don’t speak the truth to power that be” he stated.
He attributed the postponement to the incompetence of the National Chairman, “People have travelled the bad road, security is questionable, all sort of things have happened, yet elections was postponed.
“INEC had four years to conduct election, they know that every four years, they have to conduct election, nothing new, they know this, they started asking for money last year, that is stupid, you waited to the last moment, they have no excuse whatsoever, if they can’t move the materials, there is aeroplane or helicopter, this is 21st century for goodness.
“This is where we find ourselves, regardless how well the election will be conducted, next week, if it happened at all, the result will not be accepted by all, because it has already been contaminated; if those that were smooth were not accepted then imagine what this will be.
On the outburst of Kaduna state governor regarding body bags, Mr Duke said, “Kaduna State Governor’s comment was a loose talk and that should not have come from the state chief executive and high ranking member of APC, he is a great friend of mine but he gets too emotional in his speech, he needs to be more cultured when addressing issues of those nature,” he said.