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  • A police member oversees Ad-hoc staff loading boxes onto a truck during the distribution of election materials at the INEC office in Yola, in Adamawa State.

    A police member oversees Ad-hoc staff loading boxes onto a truck during the distribution of election materials at the INEC office in Yola, in Adamawa State. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 February 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 elections as scheduled is no longer feasible," the statement said.

The Nigeran Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has released a statement confirming that presidential and parlamentary elections scheduled for Saturday, February 16, and Saturday, March 2 have been postponed until February 23. The Area Council Elections will be rescheduled to Saturday, March 9.

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"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 elections as scheduled is no longer feasible," the statement said.

With this change, the INEC will be able to have an "opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality" of the elections. Officials met on Friday just hours before the polling stations opened, to discuss the lack of voting materials in some areas of the country.

A total of 73 candidates are running for presidency in these elections. However, it is almost certain that the race will be between two candidates, the current President  Muhammadu Buhari, and the first opposition rival, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Both have been a part of the country's political elite for a long time.

The INEC had said Thursday that everything was in place for the elections, in which more than 84 million people are called to the polls to elect a new president from among 73 candidates. According to a poll projection, Abubakar will win the elections over Buhari, with a difference of votes of around 12 percent.

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