Here's why Nigeria's election was postponed

April FrancisFeb 18, 2019

Femi Fani-Kayode, the former Minister of Aviation, has reacted to the alleged plans by President Muhammad Buhari to suspend the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mahmood Yakubu and replace him with Buhari's niece, Amina Zakari. We are only urging INEC not to collude with the PDP on this.

"Apart from the huge sums of money that would have been lost due to the postponement, we can only imagine many inconveniences the decision would cause the citizens who have planned their weddings and other engagements to fit the election plans".

A staggered election "would harm public perception of elections as free, fair and credible", Yakubu said.

Buhari said he was "deeply disappointed" after the electoral commission had "given assurances, day after day and nearly hour after hour that they are in complete readiness for the elections".

In a joint statement made available to Sunday Sun in Abuja, the observation teams assured that they stand in solidarity with the people of Nigeria in their desire for credible and peaceful elections.

Nigerian authorities postponed Saturday's national election by a week citing logistical factors, with the electoral commission denying political pressure had played any part in the decision.

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His statement appealed to Nigerians for calm during the "trying moment in our democratic journey" and stressed that his administration does not interfere in the commission's work.

"This dents the credibility of the election, because at best the election commission was incompetent", said Amaka Anku, a Nigeria analyst at the Eurasia Group.

Others include the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Election Observation Mission leader, former President of Zambia, Rupiah Banda; European Union Election Observation Mission Chief observer, and Belgian Member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena; National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Mission co-Chairmen, former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, and ex-President of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga.

A civic group monitoring the election, the Situation Room, blasted the "needless tension and confusion" and called on political parties to avoid incitement and misinformation. This came few hours after the Presidency had issued a stament expressing the president's disappointment with the postponement of the elections.

For the United States, it said it fully supports the decision of the heads of ECOWAS and other worldwide missions on the postponement of the election in Nigeria.

Now Buhari could become the second incumbent to be unseated.

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