A former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has lambasted the nation’s service chiefs for advising the Independent National Electoral Commission not to go ahead with the February 14 presidential elections.
The All Progressives Congress leader said it was suspicious that the military were planning an offensive against Boko Haram on the same day the elections were supposed to hold despite the fact that INEC had announced the date of the elections over a year ago.
Tinubu said in a statement on Monday that it was unlikely that the military would be able to defeat Boko Haram in six weeks as the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, had failed after boasting that the military would defeat Boko Haram in four months last April.
He said, “This postponement is a smokescreen because what the letter says is that they are advising a postponement of six weeks in the first instance subject to the amelioration of the security situation in the North-East. This is coming from a Chief of Defence Staff that vowed to crush the insurgents within four months early last year. A year later, nothing has changed. He is now asking Nigerians to believe this government can do in six weeks what it could not do in six years.
“This postponement has deeply wounded Nigerian democracy. While my party hoped to go into the election and win it that we may offer a new and honest deal to the people, this government continues to feed the people a raw deal.”
The former governor said the postponement was evidence that President Goodluck Jonathan was not ready to hold free and fair elections.
He warned the President to put the interest of Nigeria above his personal ambition so as not to plunge the nation into crisis.
He said, “What happened Saturday was actually not a postponement due to security or logistical reasons. What happened was the by-product of overt political interference undermining the independence of the election management body, INEC.
“The elections were postponed not because they could not safely be held. They were postponed because one man, President Jonathan, feared that an election held on February 14 would for him become an election lost.
“While the mouth was Jega, the words were Jonathan. He chose to place our democracy at risk than do what democracy demands by facing and risking the verdict of the people. That he would use our security agencies to provide his excuse only adds insult to injury.”