The Nigerian Presidential and parliamentary elections were slated for today, February 16, 2019. The date was fixed over a year ago by the supervisory body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). However, following an emergency meeting which entered into the early hours of the scheduled date, the elections have been postponed.
The New date as announced by the Chairman of the electoral commission, Mahmoud Yakubu, is February 23 and March 9. Yakubu made the announcement 5 hours to the elections. He gave the reason for the postponement as logistical reasons. He described the decision as one which was difficult but necessary as some States hadn’t received polling materials yet.
This announcement has raised a lot of dust and backlash all over the country. The populace has expressed their displeasure and embarrassment at the news. Most of them have described the act as uncalled for and demanding of an apology and explanation from the INEC chairman.
The opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have also expressed their anger at the issue. They have described it as a ploy to assist the ruling party in rigging the elections. A couple of INEC offices were attacked in the weeks building up to the elections.
This is not the first time elections are being postponed in Nigeria. The 2015 elections were also postponed, the reason at the time was attacked from Boko Haram.