The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) have rejected the 2015 election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the late hours of January 24, 2014, Friday.
The two associations further noted that the timetable prepared by INEC was designed to encourage electoral irregularities. They expressed fears that an attendant bandwagon effect was likely after the Presidential election, which comes first.
“We prefer all elections to hold the same day in order to reduce cost and avoid bandwagon effect. But INEC has said there is no enabling law by the National Assembly that will make it possible for the elections to hold the same day; and we have also called on the legislature to make that possible,”the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani, said in a statement.
“ACF prefers electoral disputes in courts to be disposed of before inauguration, but now INEC timetable is too close to inauguration. As a result, inaugurated winners will still use government resources to fight electoral disputes in tribunals and courts. That will be most unfair to the alleged losers in the elections and Nigerians,” the statement continued.
Professor Ango Abdullahi, the spokesperson of the NEF, also expressed dissatisfaction on behalf of his group:
“There is nothing so significant about the dates that have been reeled out by INEC; however, I do not see any reason for INEC’s inability to conduct the elections the same day because it is possible and this is done all over the world, so Nigeria cannot be an exception in this case.
“Apart from the possible bandwagon effect that is likely to be associated with the current outline as enunciated by INEC, the likelihood of a winning presidential candidate in the February 14 poll manipulating the subsequent elections cannot be ruled out,” he said.