Anger over sudden two-day elections holiday in Nigeria

5 Comments » April 12th, 2007 posted by // Categories: Favorite Articles

GREEK GIFT: TODAY and tomorrow are holidays, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared yesterday

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5 Responses to “Anger over sudden two-day elections holiday in Nigeria”

  1. alukome says:

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: 2007/04/12 08:15:09 GMT

    Nigeria row over election holiday

    Nigeria’s president has declared Thursday and Friday public holidays – delaying a court ruling on whether his deputy can run in next week’s polls.
    Atiku Abubakar’s spokesman described the move as a pre-emptive move against the Supreme Court.

    The vice-president’s court hearing will now take place on Monday, just five days before the presidential vote.

    The government says the unexpected break is to give people time to travel to vote in Saturday’s state elections.

    The holidays have also prevented scheduled court challenges by aspiring candidates in state and governorship races – closing their last window of opportunity and making their cases effectively redundant.

    The most high-profile such case is that of former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye, who denies corruption accusations and is challenging his impeachment.


    The vice-president became a leading opposition candidate for the Action Congress after falling out with former ally President Olusegun Obasanjo.

    Electoral officials have barred Mr Abubakar from running for president, saying corruption charges against him would have to be dropped for him to be eligible.

    He denies any wrong-doing.
    "This is a pre-emptive strike to subvert the sitting of the court. It is a holiday that nobody needs or planned for and is not necessary," vice-presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said, Reuters news agency reports.

    A statement from the Action Congress party added that the move was no coincidence.

    "This insidious act has robbed all political parties with the exception of the ruling PDP [People’s Democratic Party] of the chance to carry out the necessary logistics including despatching funds and materials to party agents across this vast country," it said.

    BBC correspondents in the capital, Abuja, said there were angry scenes at banks on Wednesday as people rushed to withdraw money for the next four days.

    Many banks stayed open late to deal with the crowds.

    The BBC’s Alex Last in Port Harcourt says the row adds to the general perception of mild chaos in the run-up to the polls.

    With just days to go, there are widespread complaints that the electoral commission has failed to display the voters register and in many places, people still do not know where the polling stations will be.

    With Mr Abubakar’s candidacy in doubt, the main contenders for president are the PDP’s Umaru Yar’Adua and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).

    Mr Buhari is on Thursday expected to hold a meeting of opposition parties, seeking to form a "grand alliance" against the PDP.

  2. pmdaboh says:

    I would like to just comment on the sparadic calling of holidays in Nigeria. I am an American citizen, and our holidays, throughout the entire year are strictly adhered to. Prior to 2007 coming in, we were given calendars to mark our holidays for the entire year. And it is unheard of for any government official to just "call a holiday" at will for whatever reason. . .It seems that this calling of holidays, without giving proper notice to Nigerian citizens, should be banned, for it totally unforeseen and people will be unprepared. Sure, they may appreciate the rest and relaxation, but holidays should be very organized with everyone knowing, well in advance, what days to look forward to for particular holidays throughout the year.

  3. pmdaboh says:

    I want to emphasize that I am in way comparing the way America is run as opposed to the way Nigeria is run. But, I believe "organization" is one of the keys to any country’s success, and to me, calling holdiays at the last minute, for whatever reason, puts the country and citizens in a state of chaos. Whatever method is used, let it be an organized one and one where no individual can manipulate it for his or her advantage.

  4. pmdaboh says:

    I meant to write . . . "I in no way am comparing . . " Sorry for the missing word, which makes all the difference in the world.

  5. Anonymous says:

    …old soldiers turned politicians will always think demand and supply signs are just multiplication signs at best, or just two slanting crosses…otherwise they would have realised the economic implications of declaring two days of holidays for an election in Nigeria….

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