What election postponement has cost us – Oyo political actors, candidates

SOME political actors and candidates in Oyo State have expressed divergent views on the recent postponement of the governorship and house of assembly elections in the country.

The actors and candidates made their submissions in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Sunday.

NAN reports that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had, on March 9, announced the postponement of the elections from March 11 to March 18, at the peak of political scheming, defections, alliances, endorsements and adoptions of candidates.

Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in the state, Mr Tawfiq Akinwale, described the postponement as a blessing in disguise, adding it had given him the opportunity for more consultations.

Akinwale told NAN that the postponement had really assisted him tremendously, especially in view of the recent happenings in his party, where the chairman and six other people purportedly adopted the candidate of another party.

NAN recalls that some LP members had, at a news conference, announced the adoption of the incumbent governor, Seyi Makinde of PDP, as the party’s governorship candidate, while others adopted Sen. Teslim Folarin of APC.

Describing the incident as an aberration and one that must not be allowed to stand, Akinwale expressed happiness with the postponement, saying it had provided him the opportunity of debunking the rumour that he had stepped down for another candidate.

In his own reaction, the APC Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Olawale Sadare, however, said that the postponement caught his party unawares.

Sadare, nevertheless, pledged APC’s support to INEC, as long as the postponement would guarantee better conduct of the remaining elections.

He, however, admitted that the postponement had, no doubt, increased the party’s electioneering budget.

“We have had to extend the period of electioneering for another one week, as we have embarked on more consultations with stakeholders, voters and media patronage.

“All the same, we just have to do it to achieve our goal of total victory at the polls,” he said.

NAN reports that some candidates and party officials, who pleaded anonymity, said that while the postponement gave room for more consultations, it ended up increasing their expenditure for the election. (NAN)