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BY Mildred Europa Taylor, 6:00am February 16, 2019,

Nigerians fume at postponement of elections 5 hours before polls open

Elections in Nigeria have been postponed by a week. Pic credit: Sky

Nigerians woke up Saturday morning to the news that the presidential and parliamentary elections have been postponed for a week, leaving many of them angry.

The country’s electoral commission took the decision just five hours before the vote was expected to take place. Following an emergency meeting in Abuja which lasted for hours, the electoral body said on Saturday that the elections will now be held on February 23 due to logistical challenges.

“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,” Mahmoud Yakubu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, said.

“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.”

Nigerians fume at postponement of elections 5 hours before polls open
The full statement

An official of the election commission told Reuters that “some result sheets and some ballot papers are reportedly missing.” There are also reports that several states in the country did not receive ballot materials hours before the delay was announced.

Governorship and local elections, earlier scheduled for March 2, will now take place on March 9.

Nigerians were expected to cast their vote to choose a leader in a race which has incumbent leader, Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the main contenders.

Buhari who is seeking a second term was nominated by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Abubakar, 72, beat a host of others to lead the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The two parties, which have become well-established in the country, have been providing Nigeria with all its presidents since the end of military rule in 1999.

Ahead of the poll on Saturday, Nigerian authorities had increased security across the country. This was after some heated campaigns and election-related violence left dozens dead and scores injured.

Millions of Nigerians had travelled to their hometowns to vote in the upcoming polls only to be told that the election has been delayed for a week.

The decision has left many people angry and disappointed, with reports that the move could heighten tension between the two leading contenders who have accused each other of attempts to rig the vote.

Here’s how people are reacting to the last minute decision:


Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: March 25, 2020


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