By Obia Patrick and Ilam Patricia (Calabar Municipal), Margaret John (Calabar South), Efa Sunday (Abi), David Nsa (Odukpani), Emmanuel Atuaka (Obudu), Emmanuel Okiri (Bekwarra), Kanjal Godshield (Ogoja), Frank Edima (Bakassi), Ololo Kelvin (Obanliku), Nandi Bette (Boki), Asiya Ekpo (Akamkpa), Uchi Julius (Obubra), Promise Young and Godwin Otang (Ikom), Clement Onah (Yala), Amos Bassey (Biase), Deborah Obot (Akpbuyo), Obeten Godfrey and Ojeka Odey (Yakurr), and Agbor Ojong (Etung)
At about 2:00am of the election Saturday morning, the Chairman of Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmud Yakub announced the change in plan from earlier scheduled dates of February 16th and March 2nd by one week respectively for logistics and other reasons.
However, our team of Correspondents and citizen reporters across the 18 LGA’s in the State brings you mixed feelings of anger, disappointment, confusion, shock and even forecast by some that President Buhari will be defeated by to his major political opponent, the PDP’s Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. With some in other quarters are presuming that it is election rigging tactics.
Mr. Fidelis Ikoi from Abi said, “I think it’s President Buhari that is behind all of these. He doesn’t want any party to take the power from him. The economic melt down as felt in this APC administration is what is making Nigerians crave for a real change, which we see in Atiku Abubakar. President Buhari knows that he will loose the election to him (Atiku), and that is why he is doing everything to rig this election.”
Mr. Onor Matthew, an indigene of Itigidi also in Abi and a Student of Cross River University of Technology said, “It will hinder educational activities from commencing.”
Mr. Bassey Effiong , a resident of Calabar South said “INEC has shown the highest level of incompetence, disappointed Nigerians and the Chairman should be made to resign, because he’s incompetent and it’s unpardonable.”
On his part, Mr. Inyang Mike from Abasi Obori, Calabar South stated that, “It is a shame to our integrity for a country like Nigeria to be involved in this kind of mess, something that they have taken so many years to plan, just got cancelled at the dying minute. Government should always learn to do the right things.”
In Etung our reporter reports that the environemnt is little tensed with members of APC and PDP, the dominant parties are exchanging accusations on one another with PDP saying its a rigging strategy while APC says PDP has hidden agenda else they would see that INEC is truly independent on this decision.
Whereas Mrs. Inyang Mfon from Calabar Municipality said, “I’m not happy at all, as you can see I’m standing here in my polling unit and I’ve been here since 8:00am thinking that the news I heard is only a rumour but it is quite unfortunate. I’m not happy but I just have to go and come back on Saturday next week.”
Mr. Okoi Spaco from Ijiman, Ugep in Yakurr added, “It is disappointing but President Buhari will win the election come next week.”
Mrs. Blessing Utum from Ugep also calculated the economic impact of the development averring that “it has crippled market and sales strength. Today is market day but I left to go vote only to hear that election has been postponed. This market that I sell is the only source of livelihood for me and my family.”
Franca Mbui also from Ugep lend her voice saying, “the postponed election has affected me as a student, I travelled from Ebonyi where I school to come exercise my franchise and I spent transportation fare down here, only to hear they have postponed the election. Next week I’m supposed to submit a chapter of my project but this news has spoilt everything.”
A respondent from Akpabuyo Mr. Daniel Bassey told our reporter, “For anything to be delayed means there’s a foul play in it. For all the stress that people passed through in INEC to collect PVCs just so that they can vote out hunger and corruption, President Buhari has succeeded in scuttling the process but come next weekend, he would be voted out by Nigerians.”
Also, Mr. Ene Antigha in Akpabuyo said, “For we who leave by the farm it is difficult to miss Saturday, we all left our hard work and decided to go exercise our franchise and now we have lost two important things, we didn’t go to farm and we didn’t vote and we will loose another two more. Shame on INEC.”
In Bakassi Edem Ekeng said, “To me it’s really not a shock. I sent people children all around the State. Some even arrived their destination 2am to observe the election. Now see. They say logistics yes but we known there are other issues involved.”
Also from Bakassi Frekus Thompson said, “It’s a shame. It further confirms the supreme power the northern elites holds against any other group in the country. INEC has never been independent therefore I don’t know why they should be entrusted with the electoral process of a country like Nigeria.”
“I don’t Understand Nigeria again oh” exclaims Ekpo Bassey in Bakassi while Stanley Okon in same LGA preached peace saying, “Only the will of God will prevail so let’s keep following please.”
Comfort Robert also in Bakassi said, “Good morning dear, I am not surprised because the hand writing was clear. I preempted it. I told everyone I had conversation around the 2019 general elections with that INEC doesn’t seems prepared and that the election would be postponed. Even my friends in Kenya called 2 days ago and I repeated the same thing. Last night too, I told my family to watch out, early this morning or at midnight, they heard the news.”
From Odukpani, Mr. David Archibong said, “The Government knows what they are doing and when they are done, we will see the result. But this is just a ploy by this present Government to frustrate his opponents. But Buhari knows he has lost the election.”
Mrs. Esther Offiong also in Odukpani said, “The thing is that they have spoiled things for us, as today is supposed to be our market day and because of election people are not able to come buy goods from us.”
From Obudu, speaking with Mr. Samuel Agba a Civil Servant who travelled from Port Harcourt down to his home town to vote he said, “I feel President Buhari thinks he is loosing that’s why all this things are happening. All this things are being done to kill the strong agitations of Atiku supporters so that if they eventually travel back to their various destinations tomorrow, not everybody may come back to vote by next week Saturday.”
Another in Obudu, Mr. Adar Regen said, “It is all APC that is behind all of these. They know that Nigerians ae tired of the killings and injustice ongoing in the country so they want to do every thing possible to rig this election.”
In Apiapum axis of Obubra, our reporter observed that, “Yesterday was a busy day for the people of Obubra as a whole, you could feel the excitement in them to cast their votes and decide their fates for another four years but they feel disappointed this morning when they heard that the election was postponed. Today is the major market day but many persons left it with the aim to vote, if you visit the market now only few people are there, the sudden change in decision has crippled economic activities here.”
From Bekwarra, our reporter shared his observations saying, “There’s high accusation here against the APC as many believe it was postponed deliberately. The atmosphere here is tensed but many are willing to vote not minding the cost.”
From Ikom, Mrs. Mbong Gladys opined, “I’m disappointed in INEC but we need to stick to our rights and vote for our choice, because for them to site logistics as the reason for the election postponement, to me, it’s a clear lesson that we need to progress to electronic voting to avoid recurrence of this kind of last minute postponements.”
Another Ikom respondent, Miss Happiness Anara said, “What will we the electorates say? Anybody will say what they like, but the fact is; the elections did not hold. So we are waiting for the next date as INEC has said, to cast our votes.”
Also, Mr. Nzan Onaji from Ikom maintained “Them do us nonsense today oo! We left to INEC office for election materials for our ward, only to get to INEC office and be told that elections will not hold.”
Meanwhile, the streets of Ikom were unusually quite and scanty as many shops, banks, supermarkets, and business centers were under lock. It was also observed that many people were patronising newspaper vendors, as they argued and shear their thoughts on the postponement, as it concerns Atiku and Buhari.
Likewise, Pastor Montu Sunny from Ogoja said, “Nigeria as it stands is in the hands of cabals, that is why things are not going in the right direction in this country, but the best we can do is to pray that God should forgive us in Nigeria and heal our land and give leaders that will have the fear of God.”
Mr. Echili Chukwuka, resident of Yala said, “The best thing for us in this country is to separate and go our different ways. The oppression is too much in Nigeria. People travelled long distance to come perform their civic responsibilities but INEC, APC and all the big men in Nigeria have vowed that Nigeria won’t move forward but they lie.”
Speaking with Mrs. Antonia Olom, a resident in Boki said, “Well God will help us, although I don’t know what INEC means by logistics but we have to wait till the end come next week Saturday. I just pray that God keep everyone safe.”
In Obanliku, Mr. Godswill Anakhu reiterates, “Well I feel very shocked to hear this morning that an election meant for today has been postponed. INEC has nothing to tell Nigerians but we know it is only a plan to scuttle the process.”
In Biase, Mrs. Florence Effiwatt said, “It is only God that can help us in Nigeria. Everything is just going upside down. I have never seen where election is postponed less than 3 hours before the election commences. But I know that Nigeria will be great again.”
Also, from Akamkpa reports suggest that “people are not happy with the development, though they got the news early and very little people were seen at some polling units, while some are accusing APC of being afraid of the outcome of the election.” Our reporter said.
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