Residents including business owners in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have lamented the postponement of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, saying the initial declaration of the day as work-free, has resulted in financial losses for them.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakub, had in the early hours of Saturday announced the postponement of the presidential and NASS elections to February 23 while the governorship poll was moved to March 9,, sparking reactions from Nigerians all across the country.
Some residents and business owners in the Rivers State capital, who expressed anger during a chat with our correspondent, said that despite the shifting of the exercise, their daily activities had been affected because commercial activities had been crippled.
A boutique operator in the Borokiri area of the city, Onengiye Daniels, while lamenting the effect of the development on his source of income, said that he had lost at least N10, 000 as a result of the situation.
He said, “Despite the postponement of the election, I have lost at least N10, 000 because plans have been affected.
“A lot of vehicles are not moving, so commercial activities are disrupted. If INEC knew they were not ready for the elections, they shouldn’t have affected our movement with it.
“As far as I am concerned, the entire development represents a big loss for my business and source of income.”
Manager of an event centre in the Diobu area of the city, Patrick Nwogu, told our correspondent that apart from the loss they had incurred today following the initial scheduling of the elections for today, the postponement of the exercise to next week has also caused them problems in advance.
According to him, clients, who have booked their facility for next week are already demanding for a refund as a result of the development.
He said, “We are perhaps the biggest losers of this sad situation. While we are still lamenting the revenue we have lost today, we are already facing more troubles for next week.
“Some clients are already requesting for a refund because they also cannot hold their ceremonies next Saturday as a result of the postponement. This is very sad.”
A handful of residents, who also decried the effect of the disruption on their daily activities, said that they have been left stranded in their various houses on a day they had originally planned many things.
According to them, the funds they all plugged into preparing for the exercise had all gone to waste.