The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has postponed to February 23rd, the General election earlier scheduled for Saturday, February 16th, 2019.
The INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said that continuing with the election as earlier scheduled for, 16th February, 2019, was no longer feasible.
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The INEC chairman further stated that “Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible. Consequently, the Commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to Saturday, 23rd February 2019.
Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is 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 the elections and the consolidation of our democracy.
“The Commission will meet key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2pm on Saturday, 16th February 2019 at the Abuja international Conference Centre”, he added.”
Nigerians had anticipated an announcement by president Buhari with regards the elections when he addressed the nation on the evening of 14th February. A swell of rumours suggesting that Buhari would call the election off or postpone the plebiscite had already been spreading on social media.
Violence, stampedes, deaths and the use of social media as a tool to spread misleading information had become a hallmark of the 2019 Nigerian Presidential campaign.
As the 2019 Nigerian Presidential Election is drew to a close accusations over the abuse of social media to spread misleading information have characterised Nigeria’s political landscape.
Both of the main political parties have accused their rivals of the spearheading and spreading of disinformation.
The incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and his main rival, Atiku Abubakar, running for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have both been the target of videos containing dubious or inaccurate information, being shared online.
But the deaths, the numerous electoral inadequacies and the upsurge of violence had left many political commentators speculating as to whether Nigeria is really prepared for elections.
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