INEC postponed the highly anticipated Presidential election over the weekend, causing quite the hullabaloo. The election postponement did not only stop Nigerians from exercising their power in choosing their leaders, it crippled Nigeria. Here is how.
The weekend prior was quite a disappointing one for Nigerians, because the highly anticipated Presidential elections did not hold.
It is not so much the postponement that had Nigerians in distress, but the blatant disregard and nonchalance to their dedicated efforts to come out and vote.
Recall that the election postponement was offhandedly announced by INEC, on the election day, few hours to its commencement.
This was after several Nigerians travelled far to their polling units to vote, incurring huge costs. Even worse as is expected of elections in Nigeria, commercial, social and general activities were grounded.
There is usually no vehicular movement, businesses are closed, neither will there be social gatherings on election day.
Thus in anticipation of the Presidential elections on the 16th of February, 2019, the Lagos metropolis for example had its residents carrying out panic purchases.
The traffic on the eve of election day was horrendous as many fought to leave Lagos to the location of their respective polling units to vote; also Transportation costs skyrocketed.
Therefore by precariously and cruelly shifting the election date, INEC crippled Nigeria and Nigerians, because Feb. 16, 2019 became the only Saturday where businesses, commercial and social activities were wastefully grounded.
The economic ramifications and ripple effect of not conducting elections this Saturday, cannot be overemphasized because Nigeria lost billions of Naira and will likely lose more on the new election date, which is Feb. 23, 2019.
Imagine the sprawling metropolis of Lagos, reduced to a ‘ghost town’ on Saturday as residents stayed indoors after the announcement, because of the uncertainty of the postponement.
INEC crippled Nigerians, because it broke the resolve of citizens to vote. Thanks to the 2015 election, Nigerians for the first time believed in the power of their votes.
Made all the more evident with the removal of the incumbent at the time, President Goodluck Jonathan.
Political leaders have asked Nigerians to stand steadfast in their resolve to vote.
Recall also that the postponement was revealed to Happenings by a reliable source in January.
Photo Credit: Bamigbala Adekola