ACF expresses disappointment over poll shift, calls for calm

Posted by Garba Ahmad, Kaduna | 8 February 2015 | 2,931 times

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Arewa Consultative Forum ACF has expressed disappointment over the decision, last night, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reschedule the general elections earlier billed to be held this month.

A statement issued today in Kaduna by ACF National Publicity Secretary Muhammad Ibrahim said the forum received with disappointment the news of INEC’s decision to reschedule the elections to March 28 and April 11 citing security challenges in the states of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe as the main reason.

According to the statement, “ACF appreciates the concern of the security agencies and Nigerians regarding the security situation in the North-East region and the urgent need to put an end to the insurgency which has been on for so long.

“However, the earlier assurances given to Nigerians by the security chiefs that elections would definitely hold as scheduled heightened the enthusiasm of Nigerians to look forward to the scheduled February elections.”

The Forum lamented that the hopes of Nigerians were dashed by the same military authorities seven days to the presidential and National Assembly elections, despite INEC’s earlier claims of preparedness and determination to conduct free, fair and credible polls.

Even so, the statement said: “ACF and indeed all Nigerians have no option but to accept the security reasons advanced by INEC and to have faith in our security agencies determination to bring an end to this insurgency.

“ACF particularly welcomes the collaborative efforts of our neighboring countries (Chad, Cameroon and Niger) to rid the North-East region of the Boko Haram insurgency as promised by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh.

“The security chiefs should remember that as representatives of the Nigeria Armed Forces, Nigerians will hold them on their words. The Forum equally commends the soldiers engaged in the joint operations for the successes so far recorded and calls upon them to sustain the onslaught.

“ACF commends Nigerians for their patience and perseverance during this trying moment of uncertainty that engulfed the nation in the last three days. Nigerians should therefore continue to be prayerful, remain calm and restrain themselves from any act of lawlessness that will jeopardise the democratic process of free and fair election.

“It is only our collective resolve to respect the tenets of democracy that will strengthen our unity and peaceful coexistence. Intimidation, threat and arm twisting by any individual or group of people in order to subvert the democratic process will not be in the best interest of Nigeria’s young democracy.

“The Forum further calls upon INEC to use this opportunity and ensure that registered voters get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC). Necessary logistics needed for a successful, free, fair and credible elections re-scheduled for March 28th and April 11th, 2015 should be put in place. The military and other security agencies should also prepare adequately to provide the needed security cover to INEC staff, the electorates and maintain peace and order during and after the election.”

•Photo shows ACF Chairman, Ibrahim Coomassie.

Source: News Express

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