The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled on Saturday February 16, 2019 has been shift to Saturday 23rd February.
Similarly, the commission also shifted the governorship, State Houses of Assembly and FCT Area Councils elections earlier slated for March 2 to Saturday, March 9, 2019.
At a press briefing which held at the conference hall of the commission on at 2.45am on Saturday, chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu said the postponement followed careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections,
Yakubu said the commission would meet key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2pm. on Saturday, l6lh February 2019 at the Abuja International Conference Centre.
The statement read: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Friday. 15’h February 2019 and reviewed its preparations for the 2019 General Elections scheduled for Saturday, 16’h February 2019 and Saturday, 2nd March 2019.
“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, 23” February 2019.
“Furthermore, the governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is rescheduled to Saturday 9‘h 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, February 16, 2019 at the Abuja International Conference Centre.”
In the past two weeks, some INEC offices have been set alight, with thousands of electronic smart card readers and voter cards destroyed.
There have also been claims of shortages of election material in some of the country’s 36 states.
There are 73 registered candidates in the presidential election, but campaigning has been dominated by President Muhammadu Buhari and his main challenger former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.