Ben Ezechime, Enugu
Stakeholders in Enugu State have expressed mixed reactions over the the postponement of Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections earlier scheduled for Saturday March 11, 2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced the postponement of the elections to Saturday March 18, to enable it carry out reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
This follows the order by the Federal Appeal Court on Wednesday permitting the Commission to reconfigure the machines before the elections.
Stakeholders in separate interviews agreed with INEC to reconfigure the BVAS but cautioned against any attempt to tamper with the presidential elections result.
Mr Onuorah Odo, a legal practitioner and the State Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party (LP) said the postponement arising from the court order was in good faith and a welcome development.
“I think it is in good faith, provided INEC will not tamper with the last election results.
“As a party we will carry on with our campaigns until next week Wednesday,” he said.
A civil society activist, Mr Olu Omotayo also said that the postponement was inevitable due to time factor.
“The court gave them the go ahead to reconfigure the BVAS and this takes days, which means in order to achieve that, INEC has no option than to shift the election,” he said.
Omotayo, a legal practitioner, however, warned that the reconfiguration should be done in a way that all the processes of the last election will remain intact.
“They should be careful to ensuring that the process will not jeopardise investigations into the presidential and national assembly elections,” he said..
Also, Retired Lt Col. Aaron Ugwu, a chieftain of the Labour Party in the state, said the postponement was a ploy by INEC to meddle with the presidential election under investigation.
“I don’t have confidence in the process anymore,” he said.
Mrs Margerret Udeh, a woman leader of Action Alliance, Awkunanaw ward, said the Commission’s action was in order but the public didn’t have the trust in them anymore.
“It’s done in good faith but how many Nigerians are still interested in the process,” Edeh said.