Obi calls for calm after INEC’s polls shift, Umeh, Oye, others react

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By Sunny A. David, Awka
Following the postponement of the general elections by INEC, anger, disappointment may best describe the mood of the people in Anambra State.
Stakeholders including PDP vice presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chief Victor Ike Oye have been speaking out on the matter.
Said Chief Oye: “We regret the development as we had concluded plans to participate robustly in the election before it was postponed abruptly.
“We are ready any day for the election but for the huge cost already incurred. Nevertheless, as a responsible political party, we will abide by the postponement and work toward the new dates.
“It is our expectation that INEC will discharge itself creditably by ensuring that there is free, fair and credible election. We urge our teeming members and supporters to remain calm and be on the alert at all times and not allow themselves to be used by anybody to cause confusion or obstruct the smooth conduct of the election.”
The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District and candidate of APGA in the election, Chief Victor Umeh said: “We are not happy that the election is postponed at the wee hours of the election because we have prepared and mobilised the electorate and discharged our logistics only for the election to be postponed.
“Well, INEC is the umpire charged by the constitution to conduct elections and the constitution and electoral act give INEC the powers to postpone an election for good and verifiable reasons.
“INEC reason has been announced; they said logistically, they were not fully prepared as a result of lapses in some states. And being a national election that will produce a President and National Assembly members, it is only proper that INEC is allowed to get its acts together and conduct a hitch-free election.
For Peter Obi, through his media aide, Mr. Val Obienyem, said the postponement had not changed his belief that God’s will is supreme at all times.
Mr. Obi’s aide who said his boss was calm over the development, condemned the postponement and described INEC’s action as unexplainable.
He however said: “When he (Obi) came back from Mass, I jokingly told him he was looking relaxed when every other person was almost mourning. He replied, ‘Val nothing has changed about my belief that God’s will is supreme at all times.’ He always speaks like a God-intoxicated man, which is worthy of imitation.”
A trader at the Onitsha Main Market, Emeka Ozor decried the postponement saying: “This country is really in a mess; why was it early this morning, a few hours to the voting exercise that INEC realised that it could not handle the election? This decision should have been taken and communicated to Nigerians at least 24 hours to the elections.”
“You know what we have lost today in this market and next Saturday again; I want to believe that they saw the handwriting on the wall that it will not favour their pay masters if they go ahead with the election today. How will the candidates who have given out money for logistics cope next Saturday?”
Another man, who pleaded anonymity said: “This is really bad market for us today, you can see that all the markets were closed for business today.”

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