- Category: April 2011 Polls
- Published on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 06:03
- Written by Admin
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Speaking to newsmen shortly after casting his vote in his hometown of Otuoke in Bayelsa State, Jonathan said there was no reason why the elections could not go on as scheduled as there was adequate arrangement in the two states.
He said that even if the emergency would be imposed, it may not necessarily lead to the ouster of the state governors, who are all from the ruling PDP.
Jonathan explained that even though Nigerians have a misconception about state of emergency, its imposition was an extreme measure applicable only as last resort, noting that the people of the states were of the belief that the situation has gone very bad.
He said, “Elections will take place on Thursday. Let us observe what will happen today first before the state of emergency.
The president who cautioned against such situation that would warrant the declaration of state of emergency explained further: “You want to militarise the whole place, no development and every money goes for security.
“If you declare a state of emergency in any state, invariably, what you are saying is that there is nothing like development in that state. You appoint a military administrator and use the money to make sure there is security and it’s not the best.
There maybe two reasons why people are talking about state of emergency. Either because the situation is still so bad or alternatively if by 29th of this month we are unable to conduct election in any state, then by law you can’t conduct any election in any state again until after inauguration because we need 30 days.
“In that case, we have no choice than to declare state of emergency. But as a President you cannot just rush to declare state of emergency.
“It should be the last resort when everything fails because this is the state of emergency that is probably for six months or even if it is three months, are three months of stagnation. We cannot just rush that. That is why we deferred the election for Kaduna and Bauchi till Thursday,” he stated.
Jonathan remarked that government was keenly studying the situation in both states to see how things unfold.
He said: “Let’s finish the election. Let’s see what happens across the country.
Let us also study the situation in Kaduna and Bauchi and let us know if we move more security personnel to the states whether we can do the elections or not.
“State of emergency is not the best option but if we can do the election, definitely we will do it. But if we cannot, well we can consider that but it is not the best option” the president declared.
Singling out members of the National Youth Service Corps for praise over their conduct as ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the president assured them that government was aware of their plight and was doing everything to remedy the situation.
He observed that even though some of them have paid the supreme price in the service of the country, others have continued to work for their fatherland.
The rescheduled elections will hold a day short of the deadline set by the Electoral Act 2010 as amended which says elections must be conducted no later than 30 days to the expiration of the tenure of the administration in office which is May 29, 2011. (Daily Trust)