NIGERIA DECIDES: INEC urges Nigerians to vote despite date-change disappointment

INEC Chairperson Mahmood Yakubu. [Photo courtesy]
Nigeria’s electoral commission has urged citizens to come out in their numbers and to vote in the general elections despite the disappointment that came with a change in dates.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rescheduled the polls by a week after a review of it preparedness, also citing logistical and operational challenges.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, INEC chairperson Mahmood Yakubu said the commission would ensure a smooth presidential election come the 23rd February, and that all voters should be ready to cast their ballots.

“The Commission is focusing on the elections to be held on 23rd February and 9th March 2019 to ensure that they are free, fair and credible. We urge all Nigerians to participate fully in the elections, notwithstanding the disappointment caused by the rescheduling of dates,” Yakubu said.

The commission had earlier this week re-opened political campaigns, which will now end on Thursday.

73 candidates are registered to participate in the election, though pollsters project a two-horse race between current President Muhammadu Buhari and a former vice president Atiku Abubakar. More than 84 million Nigerians are registered to vote in the election.