The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has apologised to Nigerians for the last minute postponement of the 2019 general election by one week, saying it was in the interest of all Nigerians.
The electoral umpire also took responsibility for any inconveniences the postponement might have caused. Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, tendered the apology while addressing stakeholders in Abuja on Saturday.
The INEC chairman had at the early hours of Saturday announced the postponement of the elections, bare four hours to its commencement.
Giving a reason for the decision, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said the decision was taken after a careful review of the plan for the exercise. He said the postponement was neither politically influenced nor because of security concerns. He blamed bad weather and recent attacks on INEC facilities as some of the reasons.
“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 the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” he said.
“Consequently, the commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to Saturday, 23 February 2019.
“Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is 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,” the INEC chairman said.