Updated: February 26, 2021
Nigeria has postponed its presidential election, only hours before voting was meant to begin, sending shock-waves across Africa’s most populous nation, and leading to insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari was afraid of losing to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Mahmood Yakubu, in a televised address monitored by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C., said the presidential and National Assembly elections would now hold in a week on 23 February 2019, rather than 16 February 2019 as had been previously planned for years.
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Mr Yakubu said INEC met on Friday and came to the conclusion that “proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible”.
“Consequently, the Commission has decided to rescheduled the presidential and national assembly elections to Saturday 23 February 2019. Furthermore, the governorship, state house of assembly and federal capital territory area council elections are rescheduled to Saturday 9 of March 2019,” Mr Yakubu said.
“This would afford the commission the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of our election,” he added.
“This was a difficult decision for the commission to take, but necessary for the successful delivery of elections and the consolidation of our democracy.
“The commission will meet with key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2 p.m. on Saturday 16 February 2019 at the Abuja international conference center”.
Many were quick to point out that President Buhari might have been behind the postponement for fear of losing to Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President of Nigeria and candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party.