Rescheduled Elections: NLC Asks Govt to Declare Public Holidays

216

BY: Obioma C. Appolos

Because of the rescheduled general elections, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has called on the Federal Government to declare a two to three day public holidays, to enable workers travel to perform their civic duty in their registered polling units.

Many Nigerians had earlier traveled to the places of their registered polling units to vote candidates of their choice. But prior to the postponement of the elections, they have continued to lament the shift of the date of the long polls and especially the wasted resources.

And experts have warned that the postponement could lead to voter apathy, as many have taken to social media platforms to state their disappointment and unwillingness to travel back to cast their votes.

In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, however disclosed that available evidence shows that a good number of people would not have been able to cast their vote as a result of logistics problems if the election had been allowed to go ahead.

He urged Nigerians especially workers not to be discouraged with the postponement, but to go all out and cast their vote, saying the postponement of the election was a better evil than disenfranchising several millions of Nigerians.

“We at the Nigerian Labour Congress join other Nigerians in expressing our shock at the last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

“We share in the pains of those who in an uncommon show of patriotism, had to travel long distances to perform their civic duty. We similarly understand the outrage of those who had incurred huge and unquantifiable logistic costs. No explanation will be good enough given INEC’s repeated assurances and the zeal of Nigerians to cast their vote.

“However, given the fact that had the election taken place, a huge number of Nigerians would have been disenfranchised on account of gross and wide-spread logistic deficit, the postponement, as painful as it is, is a lesser evil of the two.

“In light of this, we enjoin all Nigerians to quickly put behind them this ugly incident and brace up for the rescheduled election next weekend. In spite of the huge costs to them, we call on all Nigerians to self-mobilise on the same scale that they did the previous weekend.

“Let them not be disillusioned or react to this postponement in a manner that will create voter-apathy. This will certainly be counterproductive and will in the long run work against the interests of the electorate.

“We call on institutions to be flexible with their staff to enable them travel in good time to perform this important civic duty even if it means government declaring a day or two public holiday to achieve this.

“As for INEC, we do hope they have learnt their lesson. On no account ever again, should they allow this to happen. All effort and expertise must be deployed by INEC to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. We appeal to all Nigerians to put this incident behind them and go out en mass to vote next weekend,” he said.

Because of the rescheduled general elections, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has called on the Federal Government to declare a two to three day public holidays, to enable workers travel to perform their civic duty in their registered polling units.

Many Nigerians had earlier traveled to the places of their registered polling units to vote candidates of their choice. But prior to the postponement of the elections, they have continued to lament the shift of the date of the long polls and especially the wasted resources.

And experts have warned that the postponement could lead to voter apathy, as many have taken to social media platforms to state their disappointment and unwillingness to travel back to cast their votes.

In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, however disclosed that available evidence shows that a good number of people would not have been able to cast their vote as a result of logistics problems if the election had been allowed to go ahead.

He urged Nigerians especially workers not to be discouraged with the postponement, but to go all out and cast their vote, saying the postponement of the election was a better evil than disenfranchising several millions of Nigerians.

“We at the Nigerian Labour Congress join other Nigerians in expressing our shock at the last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

“We share in the pains of those who in an uncommon show of patriotism, had to travel long distances to perform their civic duty. We similarly understand the outrage of those who had incurred huge and unquantifiable logistic costs. No explanation will be good enough given INEC’s repeated assurances and the zeal of Nigerians to cast their vote.

“However, given the fact that had the election taken place, a huge number of Nigerians would have been disenfranchised on account of gross and wide-spread logistic deficit, the postponement, as painful as it is, is a lesser evil of the two.

“In light of this, we enjoin all Nigerians to quickly put behind them this ugly incident and brace up for the rescheduled election next weekend. In spite of the huge costs to them, we call on all Nigerians to self-mobilise on the same scale that they did the previous weekend.

“Let them not be disillusioned or react to this postponement in a manner that will create voter-apathy. This will certainly be counterproductive and will in the long run work against the interests of the electorate.

“We call on institutions to be flexible with their staff to enable them travel in good time to perform this important civic duty even if it means government declaring a day or two public holiday to achieve this.

“As for INEC, we do hope they have learnt their lesson. On no account ever again, should they allow this to happen. All effort and expertise must be deployed by INEC to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. We appeal to all Nigerians to put this incident behind them and go out en mass to vote next weekend,” he said.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here