By Nigerians Abroad staff writer
Nigeria’s president and contender in the April presidential election, Goodluck Jonathan has expressed its confidence over the ability of the country’s electoral commission, INEC, to conduct a free and fair election despite major set back that truncate last Saturday parliamentary election.
The president told journalists in Abuja, where he had attended a photo exhibition of his presidential campaign, that the postponement should be view as a a collective sacrifice by Nigerians towards credible and transparent general polls.
“If INEC wanted to conduct elections that would be queried, they could have gone ahead to conduct the elections last Saturday.”
“Remember voting materials had been in the country. What arrived late were the result sheets which may still have been distributed but which would have resulted to a situation where results are entered probably at collation centres and not at the polling units and that is exactly what we are against.”
“We want to make sure that all results are entered at the polling units and announced to all the voters and agents of candidates of political parties.
“What happened is another demonstration that the country and the electoral body are committed to conducting credible elections. It is a sacrifice all of us are paying because I was also in the field that day. Votes must count and it must begin with the parliamentary election because if we have a bad parliament, we cannot have a good government,” State house press quotes the President.
On Sunday, the president campaign council had issued a strong statement that expresses their disappointment over the postponed election, and called on the electoral commission to do every thing possible to get things right.
There were also reports of tensions within President Jonathan inner caucus, among those who feared what the implication of a botched election might have on the integrity of the president and his perception court of public opinion.
Jonathan, a candidate of the ruling party - Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) - faces major oppositions from former Nigeria’s military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari (CPC) and the nation’s former anti-corruption czar, Nuhu Ribadu (ACN).
Following the readjusted election time table, INEC announced Saturday, April 16 as new date for the much anticipated presidential poll.