President Goodluck Jonathan has assured Nigerians that the May 29 handover date remains sacrosanct as it is the terminal date of his first term in office.In a statement yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, quoted the president as saying that the adjustment by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should be accepted by Nigerians as necessary decision to ensure that Nigerians are not disenfranchised.
While calling for support from the international community and civil society organisations, President Jonathan noted: “This is not a time to trade blames or make statements that may overheat the polity, but a time to show understanding and support the electoral commission to conduct the elections successfully.”
President Goodluck Jonathan
The statement read: “Following the adjustment of the dates for the 2015 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11, yesterday (Saturday), President Goodluck Jonathan has reassured the nation of his commitment to the sanctity of May 29, 2015 as the terminal date of his first term in office.
“He strongly reaffirms that May 29 is, has been, and will remain sacrosanct.
“The President appeals to all stakeholders to accept the adjustment of the election dates by INEC in good faith, as the electoral body has a responsibility to conduct credible elections in which every Nigerian of voting age is afforded the opportunity to exercise their civic right without any form of hindrance.
“President Jonathan believes that this is not a time to trade blames or make statements that may overheat the polity, but a time to show understanding and support the electoral commission to conduct the elections successfully.
“It is the President’s understanding that INEC’s decision ought not to generate acrimony since it acted within its powers under the law and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
“He calls on the international community, civil society and the electorate to continue to support the administration’s commitment to a free, fair, credible, and non-violent electoral process.”