By Sadiq Umar – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has announced a one-week shift in the 2019 general elections scheduled for today.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as Governorship and House of Assembly elections earlier billed to hold on Saturday 16 and March 2 will now hold on Saturday, February 23 and March 9, 2019 respectively.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, in a statement early morning on Saturday, cited “a review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plans and its determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections” as reasons for the sudden shift.
The statement read by the INEC Chairman:
“The Independent National Electoral Commission met on Friday, 15 February 2019 and reviewed its preparation for the 2019 general elections scheduled for Saturday, February 16, and Saturday, March 2.
“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plans and its determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible.
“Consequently, the commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential/National Assembly elections to Saturday, 23rd February 2019. Furthermore, the Governorship/State House of Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections are rescheduled to Saturday, 9th 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 elections and consolidation of our democracy.
“The Commission will meet with key stakeholders to update them on this development at 2 P.M at the Abuja International Conference Centre.”