There are emerging indications that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postpone the forthcoming elections by two weeks. Under the new arrangement, the presidential election is likely to be rescheduled to March 2, while the governorship and state assembly elections may be moved to March 16.
Of late, there have been clamour, especially by some APC chieftains in Rivers State, for the election to be postponed, to allow the party more time to deal with the issue of the exclusion of their candidates from the election.
This week, the expectation is that the Supreme Court may give a favourable judgement to the APC chieftains in Rivers State. Last week, the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike had raised the alarm that INEC had already contacted their printers abroad, to include the APC on the ballot.
The possibility of transferring some RECs to other states was also an issue considered as one of the reasons for the planned postponement.
An insider in INEC disclosed that “it is expected that in Akwa Ibom State, many interested camps plotting the re-deployment of the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini may have to wait for a long time as the man whose reputation overwhelms mischief makers may be allowed to stay put to conclude the 2019 elections in Akwa Ibom State and a person who commands respect among international community in the conduct of elections.”
“In some quarters, he is seen the most experienced of the RECs in the country Bayelsa would be a waste considering that they have just eight local government areas. Rivers could be the destination but neither Rotimi Amaechi camp nor Nyesom Wike camp will welcome him as each is poised to take the state by hook or crook.”
“It can be recalled that having previously served in Edo, Cross River and now in Akwa Ibom, the commissioner being an indigene of Delta State could possibly be redeployed to either Rivers or Bayelsa, yet the options are now foreclosed,” the source concluded.
Don Etukudo, the INEC Public Affairs Officer in Akwa Ibom was quoted by a news agency as having said that he was not aware of plans by the commission at the national or state level to postpone the elections.