Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that its decision to postpone the general election few hours to the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for February 16, was not politically motivated.
The electoral body had in the early hours of Saturday announced its decision to reschedule the 2019 general election by one week, with Presidential and National Assembly earlier scheduled for February 16 moved to February 23, while Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections scheduled for March 2 would now hold on Saturday, March 9.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while addressing a press conference immediately after meeting with stakeholders on Saturday, said that the one week postponement was a painful one but necessary in the overall interest of the nation’s democracy.
The chairman noted that the commission issued the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections on January 9, 2018, adding that the commission has carefully followed the timetable and implemented 13 of the 14 activities as scheduled.
Despite the postponement of the general election by one week, the electoral body insisted that campaign and distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) remain closed.
Yakubu explained that in preparing for the 2019 general elections, the commission had come face-to-face with the realities of conducting such an extensive national deployment of men and materials in a developing country like Nigeria.