NOT withstanding the desperate moves to halt the April 2015 general elections by some elements in the nation state, the 2015 general elections are likely to hold as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The assurance to the fact that the polls may go ahead came Thursday night when it was reported that the National Council of State (NCS) advised the INEC which has the exclusive responsibility to conduct elections in the country to go ahead and do the same within the legal frame work.
The National Council of state which met in the Nation’s capital on Thursday at the instance of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was said to have been in agreement in its decision to allow the elections go on as scheduled despite intense pressure by advocates of February 2015 Polls shift  who are still unrelenting.
The meeting which reportedly lasted for about seven hours had all former heads of state except Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in attendance including all 36 state governors, the service Chiefs, Senate President David Mark and Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambmwal, etc.
Council in session reportedly warned that disrupting the elections would show a negative portrayed of the country in the international community.
It was learnt that  attempts by some council members to direct INEC to hold further consultation with relevant stakeholders and come up with its final stance was rebutted by the majority who insisted that a clear message should be given to Nigerians that the council was not divided on the issue of the February polls holding as scheduled. It was asked to go ahead with its statutory responsibility as it deemed fit.
INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega was said to have told the council in session that his commission was ready to conduct the election in all parts of the country on February 14, and 28, 2015.
This indeed is a triumph for constitutional democracy and rule of law-in that council members decided to put the interest of the country over and above contrived and selfish interest of some individuals in government who are bent on manipulating every electoral process to their advantages.
The contemplation  and eventual proposal for the shift in the February polls  by the active players in the political contest tells one thing of the attitude of its advocates that they also want to take away citizens’ right to decide who govern them.
Rather than concern themselves with how they can warm themselves to the hearts of the average igerian electorate, proponents of the polls shift appear to still wallow in the dark days of massive vote rigging and subversion of the will of the electorate. Nigerian voters have come to realize their power brought about by the novel refinement of the electoral process by the Chairman of INEC Professor Attahiru Jaga.
Since his appointment in 2010 by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, professor Jega has succeeded in moving the electoral umpire from the precarious state of vote subversion to an elevated pedestal of a credible umpire, deploying technology to guarantee the integrity of the electoral process in Nigeria.
This is by no means suggesting that the commission is without some low moments in its activities in the buildup to the February 2015 general elections. Issues of poor distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and the seeming perfidy on the part of the commission to deploy the right channel to deliver the cards to their owners at their respective voting units, as well as its inability to sustain the integrity of the data capturing processes and procedures which resulted in sundry issues of loss of voters data had dogged the commission’s preparations toward the election.
This obvious defect created the needed opportunity for advocates of the 2015 polls shift to capitalize on it to ply their trade. The claim that a substantial number of PVCs are yet to be collected by their owners and as such the polls should be shifted to allow them time to do so is to least untenable. This is so because even if you give some persons another one year to go and pick their cards, they will still give excuses on why they have not done so.
The election should be allowed to hold as scheduled because the percentage of those who are yet to get their cards is so infinitesimal that it cannot affect the final outcome of the election let alone create a legitimacy problem for the eventual winners of the polls.
Another fact is that it would amount to asking for the impossible to expect that every voter will  pick up his/her card because some persons may have relocated to other areas as several owners of the PVCs in question may have passed on.
Proponent of polls postponement should have drawn from the experience of the National Civic Registration Commission whose state and local government offices are lined up with unclaimed National Identity Cards belonging to Nigerians most of whom never bothered to go pick them up.
These political hawks should look for other reasons to give for desiring a shift in the election dates.
Unfortunately, it has become clear that the ruling party at the centre despite it vigorous campaign across the country appears unprepared to participate in the electoral process. The ruling party and President Jonathan should know that the Nigerian electorate is grateful to them for transforming INEC from the dark days of Professor Maurice Iwu to the transparent and dependable institution of the present era under the watch of Professor Attahiru Jega.
Nigerians cannot forget in a hurry how ballot papers snatched in broad day light were counted as valid votes for those who could pay the price.
Therefore, election results were predetermined and winners known even before the commencement of the actual contest.
The PDP and the Jonathan administration should not be too quick to relapse on this noble path and attempt to take us back to where we struggled with our last breath to free ourselves from the do-or-die electoral processes of the Obasanjo/ Iwu era.
They should take the credit of being the ones who have succeeded in restoring the sanctity of the ballot box whereby only those elected by Nigerians would be the ones holding offices and not the other way round.
The present anxiety on the side of the ruling People’s Democratic Party whose governors were said to have canvassed for poll shift for six weeks was not unexpected. They never in their wildest dreams contemplated a formidable challenge as the All Progressive Congress APC has now posed to the extent of a possible defeat in a free and fair election.
Comments credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs Dr. Doyin Okukpe who on Friday began to rationalization of the decision of the National Council of State (NCS) to with that it NCS did not ask INEC to go ahead with the polls as scheduled is not adding up especially when he said that the commission which has left no one in doubt as to its readiness to conduct the polls as scheduled did not have the power to do so when issues involved bothered on security.
Okukpe , with the all due respect is economical with the truth as INEC is not the fit and proper government official to speak on the state of the nation’s security ahead of the February 14 election. He should have been telling Nigerians the official position of the nation’s security top brass whether or not the country is safe enough to hold the elections instead of employing old fashioned technique of governmental sophistry to deceive unsuspecting citizens.
Every discerning Nigerian is aware that the ruling PDP and the Jonathan cabinet is jittering in the face of imminent defeat in the forthcoming polls following their belated realization that their policies and programmes were too elitist that the ordinary Nigerians could not relate with them. Now they want a shift of the goalpost after the match had commenced.
Yesterday’s meeting with INEC by representatives of political parties where-in 16 out of the 28 registered political parties in the country called for poll shit and the reported euphemism by the commission Chairman Attahiru Jega on the presence of new development confirms the fact that the hawks appear to be winning the battle against Nigerians who are not less determined to vote out bad governance.
Perhaps, they want some more time to begin to do those things they unabashedly refused to do for the benefit of the ordinary Nigerian even when they were under obligation to do them.
The current Kero-Correct initiative by the NNPC to supply kerosene directly to some few users in selected cities and towns is one of the political gimmicks deployed by the current ruling class to hoodwink the ordinary Nigerian who has not been getting the product at the official price of N50 naira due to official corruption.
Should the PDP lose this election, it would have to blame its arrogance and impunity in power as well as the taking of the populace for a ride for the loss because the Nigerian electorate who has for decades past been yearning for a paradigm shift in the way and manner government business has been conducted would well use the instrument of the voter card and the ballot paper to punish whoever they find wanting.
If the ruling PDP becomes the victim this time around, it will certainly not be its last time in power as the instrument of reward and punishment in the hands of the voter would be deployed against any future government who would dare to undermine the wishes and needs of the people.
It must be pointed out that Nigerians have begun to savour the beauty of a free and fair poll following the recognition of the voter as king in the electoral process. To that extent, the reign of impunity and putrid over confidence among serving political actors that hitherto characterized electoral contest has disappeared into thin air.
This will make the average Nigerian politician to be humble in their approach to governance. The hope of the masses in the government that has excluded them from the scheme of things for several decades past will begin to be rekindled and lost hopes restored and they will begin to expect better days ahead irrespective of who wins the elections.
When this happens, both the ruling party and those contending to take over will have come to realize that they must carry the people along as there will always be a day of reckoning.
Aside of some persons whose choice of candidates to vote for might still be influenced by primordial sentiments like ethnicity and religion, most Nigerian voter would make their choices based on their conviction of the individual qualities of the contestants.
They would want to vote those who would besides prospering the nation through the adoption of a production economy capable of generating more jobs for the teeming populace, ensure the sustenance of and possible refinement of the bond of unity existing among the component parts of the nation Nigeria irrespective of tribe, religion or class.