The news that the Edo state gubernatorial election might be postponed is based on the request by the Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigerian police. Both bodies due to “credible intelligence” indicating that there is a plot by hoodlums to disrupt the poll, have asked that the September 10 elections be postponed. A postponed election will not only instill fear or cause an insurgence, it could also lessen the momentum of political activities in the state. Here are 5 likely consequences of postponing the Edo election:
1. It could disrupt electoral process
One thing that could happen is that it would cause changes in the scheduled election time table already prepared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Meaning that this postponement will affect the date and time allocated to electorates’ casting of votes, the counting, reading of votes and the announcement by the electoral officials.
2. It will affect the handing-over date
A postponed election will definitely result to prolonging the number of days it will take the predecessor to hand-over power and office to the newly elected winner of the election. In this case, the activities of the state will be slower for the new government to kick start its political agenda.
3. It will cost more money
Waste of financial resources could be seen as one prominent pitfall in any postponed electoral process, particularly in the area of security. Since more money will be spent on police patrol to ensure the atmosphere is purged of any form of violence from hooligans.
4. It can have security implications
The postponement could be seen as a threat to participating political parties making them think that the election is vulnerable to rigging. Therefore there will exist the fear of rigging in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo state if this current one is postponed.
5. It will certainly lead to distrust of the electoral commission
The authority of an electoral commission like Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be questioned by the electorates because it shows that they are incapable of performing their responsibilities. The request for the postponement is not yet approved as INEC holds a meeting to deliberate on the request today. September 8, at Benin. Prior to this, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has kicked against the request, alleging foul play and said the request is a false alarm.