Dear Professor Jega,

We would like to take this opportunity to commend you for doing something very uncommon in the Nigerian political arena - public admission of mistakes and a willingness to make corrections. It takes a great mind to publicly confess (as you did in light of the disastrous and inadequate preparations and logistical foobar that were manifest in the now-cancelled April 2 elections) that something has gone terribly awry and a do-over was necessary to right the ship.

We would now like to take this same opportunity to appeal to you to not compound the mess with an equally potentially disastrous hasty attempt to paper over the cracks in your commission's inadequacy. We would like to urge you to urgently reconsider and rescind your decision to conduct the aborted elections on Monday, April 4th, as you have announced.

You have made the really difficult decision to arrest the potential disaster. You and your commission (and indeed all stakeholders in this exercise) now need a breather. You all need the time to concretely re-assess the situation, identify the true causes of the disaster, take all the steps necessary to avoid the mishap again, and then come back to Nigerians with a better plan. In essence, now is the time to conduct a deep soul-searching, a "lessons learned" deliberation and come up with a more effective and efficient remedy. Now is NOT the time to rush head-first into another imbroglio.

You have bought time and have secured the understanding and goodwill of Nigerians. Nigerians are reasonable people, even though we don't very much appreciate being taken for fools. Your decision to re-do these elections on April 4th is tantamount to spitting on Nigerians - after you and your commission have demonstrated such gross ineptitude.

There is simply not enough time for you to adequately prepare for April 4th, if you truly desire to conduct anything but a mockery of elections.

Given that there is another round of elections scheduled for April 9th, there is no logical reason, nor a pressing need, for you to hold these aborted elections on April 4th. Indeed, we believe that the most reasonable and logical option for you, at this point, given how horribly your April 2nd attempt turned out, given how much resources and capital were wasted in that effort, given the short time between the 4th and 9th, is combine the April 2nd and April 9th elections together and hold them on the same day. This way, you have all your resources available to you, you have undivided attention and less distraction and you spare Nigerians the hardship.

In our considered opinion, it is unconscionable for you to saddle Nigerians with the hardship of having to go stand in line for hours again on April 4th, only to have to do so again on April 9th - after they've put their lives on hold for same on April 2nd. Civic responsibilities are not supposed to impose undue hardship on the citizenry, at least not for the conduct of such simple exercise as voting.

You NEED the time to get things right. You need the time to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the "Big One" - the April 9th Presidential elections. By rushing ahead now and hastily conducting a do-over of the aborted elections, you leave yourself and your commission with little or no time to be adequately prepared for the Presidential elections. You risk the possibility of Nigerians becoming disenchanted and "tired of the whole thing". You risk squandering the goodwill you have bought for yourself with you Stateman-like "mea culpa", and you risk the possibillity that Nigerians will not be in a forgiving mood should you and your commission mishandle these elections again.

Unless there are some other pressing and convincing considerations that you are not sharing with the public, we submit that Nigerians, Nigeria, you, your commission, and all the stakeholders will be better served IF you rescind this April 4th do-over decision and hold the elections on the same day as the Presidential elections - on April 9th.

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