Election postponement: Jos residents decry extra travelling expenses

Reactions have been trailing the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the country, billed to hold on Feb. 16.

Pulse speaks to the residents and workers around Oke-Afa. (Pulse Nigeria Illustration purpose))

Miss Charity Kaliat, an entrepreneur, said some people travelled from other local government areas like Bassa, Jos East and other distant locations to spend the night in my house because of the proximity of their polling units, only to be disappointed by this announcement.

This postponement is not convenient for us, if there was logistics challenge, INEC would have announced it earlier, it is unfortunate that government did not consider the ripple effects.

Mr Emeka Ifezue, a business man said that apart from the travel expenses, many businesses and schools were closed and public holidays declared in some states, saying that the postponement may cause voter apathy.

He added that many activities were put on hold for the success of this election as many people were determined to vote for their choice leaders. This rescheduling may discourage their enthusiasm in voting.

It may also mean extra expenses for government, as some INEC staff have already been deployed and allowances released, I do not know if such allowances would be given again on the new dates or the workers are expected to personally source for it.

Mr Patrick Mangai, a civil servant, said that many people in his community in Bokkos suspected `shady deals` in the scheduling.

He added that the media and other critical stakeholders would have to further encourage the public to have confidence in the election.

Miss Maureen Fanto, a journalist, said there were several people who had to reschedule their wedding celebrations from Feb. 16 to a later date, saying they would regret the decision.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Presidential and National Assembly elections have been re-scheduled from Feb. 16 to Feb. 23, while the governorship, state assembly and Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections have been rescheduled form March 2 to March 9.

The decision was part of efforts by INEC to ensure successful and credible exercise.

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