Photograph — huffington post

Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the early hours of today postponed the general election originally scheduled to hold today,16th February 2019. The new date for General elections has been set for the 23rd of February.

Though there were rumours yesterday that the elections would be postponed, it wasn’t confirmed until INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu announced to the media at around 3 am that the rumors were true. “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,” he said.

The governor and state assembly elections were also moved to March 9, 2019, from its original date of March 2, 2019.

As expected, the announcement has generated reactions from Nigerians, especially on Social media, ranging from incredulous to outright anger.

The INEC chairman has blamed “logistics and operational glitches” for the postponement of the elections, and is set to meet the stakeholders in the elections today for updates on the next steps to be taken by the electoral body.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who is contesting for a second term in office, and was already in his hometown of Daura in Katsina state when INEC announced its decision has called the postponement “deeply” disappointing.

Though the immediate cost of INEC’s decision on the Nigerian economy isn’t yet known, the unpreparedness of the electoral body will surely affect Nigerians who had to travel to various locations to vote, and also those who owned market stalls etc. There are fears of voters apathy now; voters who had planned towards today to vote could be unmotivated to vote next week for fear of being disappointed again.

Nigeria still has reasons to hope though.

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