Election Postponement: Kwara bakers record N15m loss, others recount ordeal


By Mathew Denis/Ahmed Ajokobi/Kayode Adeoti/Bolujoko Abiodun

Following the postponement of the 2019 general elections, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kwara electorate have continued to narrate their ordeal while also counting their losses.

The Presidential and National Assembly election which was earlier scheduled to hold last Saturday (February 16) was postponed by a week following announcement by the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yukubu, in the early hours of Saturday.

Yakubu hinged the decision on logistics as materials were yet to be received in some states.

Speaking in separate interviews with our reporters, voters in the state condemned the postponement saying INEC should not have delayed the announcement till few hours to the polls. Most of the respondents claimed they are unlikely to exercise their civic rights on the new election date.

Among those affected by the decision is the Master Bakers Association who reportedly lost about N15million to the election postponement.

According to the Chairman of the association in Kwara State, Alhaji Fatai Alaba, bakers in the state numbering about 350 did not open shop for business. He said, the development has bad economic effect on Kwara bakers.

Similarly, a resident of Asa Dam Road, Ilorin, Mrs Bolatito Ibiyemi said she may not likely vote again following the cancelation.

“Information about the cancelation came too late. Four members of my family travelled from Lagos to Ilorin just to cast their votes. Will they now return to Lagos and come back next week? As for me, I can’t vote again, I’m discouraged by the incident,” she lamented.

Similarly, Ahmed Isiaq Sulu Gambari, said, “I don’t think I will vote again, I came all the way from Abuja to vote and I can’t wait till next weekend. I’m disappointed with what happened, now I will go back without achieving my mission. That is not a good development.”

For Taofeeq Adetunji, he shut his shoes shops at Idumota last Wednesday and arrived Omu Aran, Irepodun Local Government of Kwara State with his family for the election, the following day. According to him, for the three days he did not open his shops, he had lost sales worth half a million naira already.

“I am a bit confused on what steps to take at the moment. I am considering returning to Lagos to re-open my shop as one cannot be sure whether INEC will postpone the election again come Saturday.

 “The Commission has disappointed millions of Nigerians. I learnt there is a 45-year-old lady who had fixed her wedding for next Saturday (February 23) and now that INEC has rescheduled the election for same date, I wonder what will happen to the bride in particular,” Adetunji stated.

In his words, Ibrahim Babatunde said though the news of the cancellation came to him as a shock, he however expressed his readiness to vote to ensure the desired change the country needs is carried out.

On his part, Yinka Popoola, said, “What happened would definitely deny many of us the urge to vote on the rescheduled date. Imagine, for the whole day, our businesses were paralysed. Next Saturday, we will find ourselves in same situation. This is definitely unfair.”

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