Nigeria postpones presidential election for one week

Nigeria postpones national elections at the last minute

I can’t see the winner of Nigeria’s 2019 election – Popular Islamic cleric gathered that the president had during a caucus meeting of his All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday, February 18, said that he had given orders to the military and police not to spare any thugs who attempt to disrupt the electoral process.

Previous elections in Africa's biggest democracy and top oil producer have been marred by vote rigging, voter intimidation and post-election violence.

"If they keep postponing and cancelling, we would keep getting ready until the day they vote", he said.

The electoral commissioner blamed "very trying circumstances" including bad weather and apparent arson attacks at three election offices as he explained his decision to delay polling by a week, announced shortly before 3am on Saturday.

The Electoral Act prescribes two years in jail, not death, for persons found guilty of snatching or destroying election materials. Let them vote whoever they want across parties.

He said the delay came "after a careful review of the implementation of the logistics and operational plans and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections". "(The postponement) has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence, nothing to do with the availability of resources", he told a gathering of foreign election observers and reporters.

"Consequently, the commission has chose to reschedule to February 23, 2019", he told reporters at INEC headquarters about five hours before scheduled polling. And once you have changed the date to February 23, you have given us the opening to campaign and energise.

While most Nigerians took the delay in a presidential election in their stride on Sunday, after similar postponements in 2011 and 2015, one presidential candidate and civil society groups expressed concern that the vote could now be compromised.

Voters across Nigeria also said they were unhappy.

Hajiya Sa'adatu said she was "greatly disappointed" to learn of the delay when she came out to cast her vote in the northern city of Kano.

Six people were killed in a bomb blast in Maiduguri by suspected Islamist militants on Saturday morning, according to the State Emergency Management Agency, even though authorities had bolstered security in much of the country.

Ameh, who is also the National Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee, however, said that with the explanation by INEC Chairman, it was clear that the decision was taken in the interest of the nation.

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