Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has postponed to February 23rd, the country’s general election earlier scheduled for Saturday, February 16th, 2019.
INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, while briefing newsmen at the commission’s headquarters, announced that “Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the Commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.”
He therefore announced that the presidential and National Assembly elections have been moved to February 23, 2019.
He also said that the governorship and state assembly elections have also been moved by one week to March 9, 2019.
He said the rescheduled time table will afford the Commission the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of the elections.
“This was a difficult decision for the Commission to take, but necessary for the successful delivery of the elections and the consolidation of our democracy.
“The Commission will meet key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2pm on Saturday, 16th February 2019 at the Abuja international Conference Centre”, he added.”
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has 84,271,832 registered voters, and while 71 persons are contesting the presidencial race, it is widely held to be a straight battle between 76-year-old President Muhammadu Buhari of the All People’s Congress (APC), and 72-year-old businessman and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP).