Nigeria election 2019: Poll halted in last-minute drama

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Nigeria has delayed its presidential and parliamentary elections for a week, in a dramatic night-time move.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) made the announcement just five hours before the polls were due to open on Saturday.

“Proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible,” commission chairman Mahmood Yakubu said, citing logistical issues.

He said the difficult decision was needed to ensure a free and fair vote.

The presidential and parliamentary votes have been rescheduled for Saturday 23 February.

Governorship, state assembly and federal area council elections have been rescheduled until Saturday 9 March.

The announcement came after an emergency meeting at the Inec headquarters in the capital, Abuja.

What’s the reaction?

Nigeria’s two main political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), swiftly condemned the move and accused each other of trying to manipulate the vote.

President Muhammadu Buhari, of the APC party, urged calm and appealed to Nigerians to “refrain from civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development”.

Voters have reacted with a mixture of anger, frustration and resignation.

Responses to Inec’s tweet about the postponement were brutal with one man calling it “the height of incompetence”.

Source: bbc

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