The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has postponed the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections, disclosing that the polls will now hold Saturday February 23.
This was one of the decisions reached in the wee hours of Saturday at a meeting which the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had with the 12 national commissioners in Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at about 2:45am, Yakubu explained that the shift was mainly as a result of logistics challenges encountered by the commission.
“Following a careful review, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections will not be feasible,” he said.
The INEC boss explained that the decision was taken in order to give the nation a free, fair and credible exercise.
“Furthermore, the governorship and state Houses of Assembly and FCT elections will hold on Saturday March 9,” he added.
According to Yakubu, “The Independent National Electoral Commission met on Friday, 15 February 2019 and reviewed its preparation for the 2019 general elections scheduled for Saturday, February 16, and Saturday, March 2.
“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plans and its determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible.
“Consequently, the commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential/National Assembly elections to Saturday, 23rd February 2019. Furthermore, the Governorship/State House of Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections are rescheduled to Saturday, 9th March 2019.
“This will afford the Commission the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of our elections. This was a difficult decision for the commission to take but necessary for the successful delivery of elections and consolidation of our democracy.
“The Commission will meet with key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2 P.M at the Abuja International Conference Centre.”