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Mixed Reactions Trail Election Postponement in Rivers

Some members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State have applauded the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections by INEC. Festus Chindo, one of the supporters in Port Harcourt said it was their hope that the postponement will give ample time to INEC to put the party on the ballot for the elections in Rivers State.

“We have always said it. No APC, no election in Rivers State,” Chindo said.

Aforji Igwe, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Eleme Constituency in Rivers State House of Assembly election, said the postponement came as a shock and disappointment to him and his supporters after they had spent a lot of resources to mobilise logistics for agents that will participate in the election.

He however said they would not be deterred from continuing to participate in the elections because they were already well prepared to come out whenever the Independent National Electoral Commission fixes for the elections. “History is only going to repeat itself. We remain committed to Atiku/Obi,” he said.

Soalabo West, a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers state and facilitator of The Atiku Project, TAP, described the postponement as a waste of resources. “And it is to no end,” he added.

Eunice Nkijeoma, a petty trader in Eleme, Rivers State, however, said she did not miss much because the postponement of the election came early enough for her to resume business at her shop. “It would have been bad if the announcement came later. I don’t see how I would have made it to the shop.” But she said business was not good because many of her customers had actually travelled out of town to go and vote at their native homes.   

Rivers State

Simeon John from Yeghe in Rivers State said the postponement had caused the country and citizens serious losses. “Why the 11th hour? The Chairman of INEC has committed an unpardonable sin. Rather than the President saying the postponement is regrettable, he should fire the INEC Chairman.

Gomba Oka, who had to close down his shop on Friday in Port Harcourt to go home to vote, said he could not quantify his losses, which he said included what he could have sold since Thursday, the cost of taking his family to the village in Ebonyi State and extra-expenses he had made. “I just hope that INEC will put their act together before Saturday,” Oka said.

Sam Igbokwe, who came to Port Harcourt from Aba, Abia State described the election postponement as a great economic loss. “Public holiday was declared and the economy was shut down. I am disillusioned so I am not certain that I will come out to vote next Saturday,” he said.

A campaign coordinator in Eleme Local Government Area from one of the major political parties, who would rather not have his name in print said his party had given out money to ward and area coordinators in the night for logistics. “How do you recover the money. Election costs money and INEC should take note of that and consider the losses those running election are incurring before deciding to postpone the elections,” he said.

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