* Updated with information from the INEC chairman
Nigeria is not deciding on its next president today (16 February) as planned.
Due to difficulties in distributing election material, the country's election commission, INEC, postpones the elections by one week. It is reported that the elections may not have progressed as planned, as in some countries too little material was provided for voting, in particular ballots.
The presidential and national assembly elections will take place one week later on Saturday, February 23rd.
INEC announced the decision on Saturday at 2:30 am local time, after a nightly emergency meeting with just a few polls scheduled to open on Saturday.
INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said at the early morning press conference that the "difficult decision" had been made after the Commission's preparations had been examined and "after the logistics and operations plan had been carefully examined" The Commission concluded that the planned action "no" was longer feasible. "
Despite several assurances of its willingness to vote, INEC had difficulties last week, with two of its offices plagued by fire in suspicious incidents.
The postponement comes after months of tense campaigning by the two leading candidates, incumbent President Muhammad Alli Progressive Congress (APC) and chief challenger Atiku Abubakar of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP). In total there are more than 70 candidates seeking to lead Africa's largest democracy with 84 million registered voters.
The decision to postpone the election will significantly affect the lives of Nigerians, most of whom will only be known when they wake up on Saturday mornings. Due to security concerns and electoral fraud concerns, most of the country was already ready to shut down in many states from 6am to 6pm local time, with vehicle traffic prohibited during those hours.
Nigeria had last minute and late delays in the last elections. In 2015, the survey was postponed for six weeks due to security concerns at the height of the Boko Haram uprising. In 2011, the presidential election was delayed by a week after outbreaks of violence and allegations of potential electoral fraud.
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