After a marathon meeting which lasted about eight hours, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the early hours of Saturday announced the postponement of the general elections.
Consequently, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will come up next Saturday, 23rd February 2019 while the governorship and state Assembly election will now hold on 9th March, 2019.
INEC had earlier scheduled today 16th February 2019 for the presidential and National Assembly, while the State elections were scheduled for 2nd March, 2019 before this latest decision by the commission.
INEC hinged the postponement of the elections on logistic challenges.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the National Commissioners met with some observer for hours before reaching the decision.
The announcement came barely few hours to the elections.
Announcing the decision, INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said it was a difficult decision to take.
Yakubu however, said INEC would be meeting with stakeholders by 2pm today.
He said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Friday 15th 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 Govemorship, 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, l6lh February 2019 at the Abuja International Conference Centre.”