Sunday 3 April 2011

Nigeria: #NigeriaDecides Election Review II - New Election Dates

Sent up again

Having postponed the National Assembly elections from the Saturday, the 2nd of April 2011 to Monday, the 4th of April 2011 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has met with all stakeholders, entertaining the concerns and considerations of other interested groups and announced another postponement.


The National Assembly Elections will now hold on the Saturday the 9th of April, 2011, the Presidential Elections will hold on Saturday the 16th of April, 2011 and the Gubernatorial & State Legislative Elections will hold on Tuesday the 26th of April, 2011, the day after the Easter break.

There was every indication that postponing the elections to a working day will be fraught with all sorts of problems from the pressing needs of the economy to voter apathy which has already been noticed at the botched elections last Saturday when just 13% of the registered voters of a Polling Unit ended up in the queue to vote having gone down from just 19% that turned up for accreditation.

Regaining a lost opportunity to perform

Indeed, every postponement allows for many to question the competence of INEC but that is a bit harsh since none of us who have had the opportunity to schedule tests or examinations automatically assume a rescheduled or postponed activity means we have failed in our purpose.

In my view, the postponement simply leaves INEC with fewer excuses to mess up, we should expect that when we eventually cross the bridge to electoral success, that bridge should be surer that ever to ensure the elections are more than free, more than fair and unassailably credible.

It will all happen this April and we simply need to bear that fact that these elections will decide the main direction of Nigeria as a nation for the next four years.

We have not voted till we have

I still believe that it is seriously unusual for a person in the position of the INEC chairman in Nigeria to admit to problems, take it on the chin, accept full responsibility and work tirelessly to prevent a deteriorating farce from being a debilitating catastrophe.

Until we have voted, we have NOT voted and until after we have voted and had our votes counted openly, honestly, fairly and properly, we are still in the game for credible elections and possibly the best elections ever.

In the end what matters most should be that when Nigeria goes to vote we end up with credible elections because until now, we have only had the promise of elections, it will take us all at home and abroad to ensure that promise is realised in April 2011.

This is our Nigeria in stark view

It still smacks of rank hypocrisy that Nigerians so used to failing systems in the economy, infrastructure and politics now expect a system borne of selfsame Nigerians of the same society to suddenly be ultra-efficient and able to deliver unusual successes that have no particular precedent in our long or short history.

INEC is a reflection of Nigeria and where it is, that it has been an embarrassment of unmitigated proportions in the global space is unfortunate but it not for the want of trying to ensure that our elections are not again documented as a sham, a travesty and an atrocious abuse of the democratic process.

It is still INEC’s sole responsibility to conduct elections in Nigeria and I will rather have an organization ready to take on that task with confidence having fed their jitters long enough with reasonable postponements.

We can all do this right; it will only take a little while longer.

God bless Nigeria.

Reference Notes & URLs

Nigeria: #NigeriaDecides Election Review I

Nigeria: #NigeriaDecides Election Review II - New Election Dates

Nigeria: #NigeriaDecides Election Review III - Who votes on Saturday.

Nigeria: #NigeriaDecides Election Review IV - Part I to Voting

Nigeria: #NigeriaDecides Election Review IV - Part II - We can

Nigeria: #NigeriaDecides Election Review V

To contact INEC

#NigeriaDecides: INEC incident reporting addresses:,,,

Follow @inecnigeria, @EiENigeria, @reclaimnaija on Twitter if you are voting tomorrow. You will get useful alerts and information.

If you are tweeting about the elections, please use the hashtag #NigeriaDecides.

Send SMS Reports to INEC on these numbers 0816-666-2222, 0812-000-6622, 0809-666-2221.

Use these HOTLINES for incident reporting: 0707-0273-6781-9 (9 lines.)

General Election Information

Nigeria: A Primer on INEC Elections in April 2011

Nigeria: INEC Election Guidelines - Critical Information

Nigeria: Table of INEC Electoral Chain of Custody

Participate in monitoring

Reporting from your Polling Unit - ReVoDa | How it works

Submit a report as a monitor to ReclaimNaija – Click to Submit a Report Election Incident Reporting Site

Nigeria Elections Social Media Tracking Centre

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