Nigerians are not sure elections will hold -Falana


Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says there is no guarantee that Nigeria is prepared for the upcoming general election.


Falana spoke while appearing on Arise TV programme on Tuesday.


Nigerians have been battling the scarcity of naira notes fuelled by the federal government’s decision to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000.


The hardship from the cash crunch, coupled with petrol scarcity, has ignited nationwide protests in the last few weeks.


Concerns have been raised about how the situation may affect the conduct of the presidential and governorship elections on February 25 and March 11 respectively.


Speaking on the development, Falana said there is “no indication” that people are ready for the elections.


The human rights lawyer said despite assurance by the armed forces, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be the agency guaranteeing Nigerians of the situation.


He said the issue of naira notes and petrol scarcity must be addressed before the country can be truly ready for the elections.


“By now, Nigerians should be fully prepared for the election. But unfortunately, there is no indication, and people are still saying will the election hold or not,” Falana said.


“The chief of defence staff has no business with respect to our election. We are under a democratic system of government, and it should be the IGP that should be speaking about security. Because, it is the police, under the law, that will man the polling units. The armed forces are only asked to stand by.


“Let us all appreciate that we are operating a civilian dispensation and the military must go back to their barracks. The person that should be doing the talking is the INEC chair, who has said the commission needs cash to take care of some logistics.


 “But has the money been released? No. Even the armed forces and the NSA spoke about the effect of cash scarcity on counter-insurgency campaigns. Those areas have to be addressed. And for the masses, it is only when you have access to your money that you can be happy and ready for the election. We must be ready and all these will have to be taken seriously.”

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