Mass Protest Looms If Election Is Shifted Again -Balarabe Musa

Second Republic governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, said Nigerians will massively protest any fresh attempt to shift this year’s elections.

The insurgency in the Northeast, he said yesterday in Kaduna, is not sufficient to warrant further postponement of the polls.

The Presidential/National Assembly  Elections originally scheduled for February 14 and the Governorship/State Assembly polls fixed for February 28 were shifted to March 28 and April 11 respectively following pressure from the military that its men would not be available this month in view of their engagement with the terror sect, Boko Haram.

However, Alhaji Musa told reporters at the end of a meeting of his de-registered Peoples Redemption party (PRP) that government should not take Nigerians for a ride any longer  on the issue.

“If election is shifted again, majority of Nigerians will oppose it, they will demonstrate against it,” he said.

“Nigerians will come out massively to oppose it because another shift will not be in their interest. Another shift will mean that government wants to remain in power.

“If ,therefore, a six-week delay is the sacrifice which Nigerians have to make to ensure that every registered voter is given an opportunity to exercise (or not to exercise) his constitutional right to vote, so be it. But Nigerians cannot tolerate another shift of election date.

“We will not tolerate another shift because we are nobody’s slave; we are free people, and this country is free. This country belongs to all of us, it does not belong to a clique.”

He added: “Continuation of Boko Haram activities is not an excuse to shift election again because Boko Haram is occupying less than 14 percent of Nigeria. We can tolerate this.

“We should conduct election in spite of the insurgency. The moment we can have free, fair and transparent elections leading to eligible government in the country, even Boko Haram will respect such government, and they will go to the negotiation table.”

He deplored the high cost of contesting elections in the country.

According to him, anyone seeking to be president will require in the region of N50billion to make an impact.

He also expressed disgust at the deteriorating standard of living in the country saying: “The situation in the country has continued to nosedive and the impact of this on the material well being and circumstances of the mass of our people continues to bite very hard.

“All of this is happening in the midst of unmitigated profligacy, institutionalised stealing of public resources and the political unaccountability of the ruling classes.

“When we turn to the security situation in the country, matters are not better. Again, things remain as bad if not worse: Boko Haram continues to wax stronger, in spite of all the exaggerated claims by President Jonathan and his security chiefs that they are on top of the situation.

“For us in the PRP and other parties and organisations in the Credible Alternative Alliance (CAA) the postponement of the elections was necessary and inevitable, not for the security excuses proffered by INEC, but because of the poor handling of the distribution of Permanent Voter Card, (PVC) by INEC.

“This is because the right to vote is an entitlement protected by the constitution of the country and so cannot simply be wished away, expunged or nullified by any measure whatsoever, administrative or otherwise, emanating from any government agency and certainly not INEC.”

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