By Taiwo Adebowale
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has formally announced its decision to shift Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections till next week, February 23; and the governorship and state assemblies elections to Saturday, March 9.
It was one of the decisions reached early today in a crunch talk between between INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and 12 national commissioners in Abuja.
Professor Yakubu while briefing the media earlier on the decision, attributed the decision to logistics problems faced by the commission.
The meeting, which began Friday evening, was still in progress up till about 2:00 am on Saturday.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman had told newsmen that the decision of the meeting will be communicated later and that some decision about the election had been reached.
“I can confirm to you that the INEC Chairman and the 12 national commissioners are in the meeting.
”Decisions have been taken and you will be addressed later,” Oyekanmi said.
Presidential and National Assembly elections was scheduled to take place throughout the country today, while governorship and state assembly elections was to take place on 2 March.
The national elections are expected to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of results will take place in 8,809 Registration Areas or Wards, 774 Local Government Areas and 36 States and the FCT.
It will not be the first time that the commission would postpone a scheduled general election.
In 2015, the presidential election was shifted from February 14 to March 28th, 2015; while the governorship and assembly elections scheduled for 28 February were shifted to April 11.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has described the postponement as a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. He asked Nigerians to remain calm in the face of the “provocation”.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has said that shoddy arrangement for this election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is a deliberate predetermined agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to cling on to power even when it’s obvious to him that Nigerians want him out.