Country Risk

Last-minute postponement of Nigerian election likely to undermine vote’s credibility, provoke widespread rioting from opposition supporters

19 February 2019


Nigeria's presidential and National Assembly elections were postponed by a week to 23 February and state elections to 9 March, less than five hours before polling stations were due to open.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) head Mahmood Yakubu said the delay was necessary because many polling stations lacked voting materials. He blamed this on a combination of legal challenges to the validity of many candidacies, bad weather, and sabotage, which has included three fires at INEC premises storing voter cards and card readers. The opposition People's Democratic Party's (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, accused the government of trying to disenfranchise people.

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