On Tuesday, January 27, Col. Sambo Dasuki, national security adviser, NSA, at the Chatam House in London, advised the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to postpone the general elections scheduled for February 14 and 28. He gave his advice based on the security situation in the country and the fact that many Nigerians are yet to get their permanent voters card, PVC. INEC has said it was not going to shift the date. But Dasuki’s call has generated a lot of controversy. Realnews went to town to sample the views of Nigerians on the issue. Below are the excerpts:
Lekan Shittu, an engineer who deals on building properties: Government should continue with the election because it is the right time. That is the appropriate time for the election. So it is okay by us. Although I could not get my PVC, but my wife has hers, and she will vote. I think the election should continue simply because of time factor. The best thing is to go ahead with the election.
Bidemi Ahmed, travel agent, said: Government should not postpone the election. There is not going to be any problem. The election is going to be free and fair. As regards the permanent voters’ card issue, government can use the temporary voters’ paper for people that do not have the PVC. Government should go ahead with the election because it is going to be free and fair.
Ayo Adebayo, business man: There are two things involved. The first one is that if INEC can still make the PVC available for collection to every registered individual before the date of the election, then government should go ahead with the election. But if they know that it will not be possible, they should come out to inform us that it will not be possible, since we know that the handover date of May 29 cannot be changed. I am one of those who do not have a PVC. The second is if INEC knows the election cannot hold as scheduled because what is worth doing is worth doing well, then government should postpone the election.”
Alex Okoye, (alias Rich Coins), a business man: I believe that this is the normal time and there should be nothing like postponement. I believe that the winner will carry the vote. Let’s proceed with the election. At least, let the government have rest of mind. We, the entire people should have rest also. Everything is at stand still. Things are not moving. Let the election come and go so that business can start again.
Wasiu Shorumo, a transporter: Government should continue with the election because they have agreed on the date of the election. But for those who do not have the PVC, government can postpone the election. I am afraid that if the election is postponed it will affect the handover date.”
Aliu Mohammed, a cart pusher: I am going back to Kano today because of the election. I want to go and vote. I want the government to continue with the election. I want to vote.
— Feb. 9, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT