On Februry 16th, 2018, Nigeria’s Presidential and National Assembly elections were set to hold in the minds of citizens and residents. Within less than 12 hours to the elections, information dissipated that INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) had postponed the elections to the following Saturday, February 23rd, 2019. According to the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, the postonement was necessary to save Nigeria’s democracy. But, the day of? Why not save Nigeria’s democracy within the 3.5 years you had to plan for the next elections?
Top 3 Way’s The Postponement Of Elections Affected The Nation’s Citizens and Residents:
- The Economy. Many businesses had closed the day before the elections were to hold. Many businesses had also planned to close the day of the elections. Cancelling within less than 24hours was very brutal as it gave citizens little to no time to plan. This also means that these businesses will have to plan to close the following weekend. This will cause significant losses in revenue. Likewise many schools had shut down in preparation for the elections.
- Events. Nigeria is an events-rich country. People hold weddings, seminars, meetings, religious gatherings, concerts and all sorts of events. The weekend of the elections is a date that February planners would have avoided. Most would have opted instead for the weekend after the elections. Now that the weekend after the elections happens to be the official elections date, what do they do? Billboards have been printed, invitations distributed, non-refundable fees paid. How do they start to change the date of their event to accommodate a very last minute postponement?
- Travel Plans. Many non-voting residents traveled outside of Nigeria to avoid being around during the possibly-turbulent elections. They would have to incur significant costs to extend their vacation or return and travel again. Many who also had flights booked for the weekend of the 23rd will have to cancel especially if they are keen on voting as every citizen should.
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