Monday, February 18, 2019
Towns and cities across Nigeria are slowly coming back to life as Nigerians prepare for the working week ahead of the re-scheduled polls. But there are concerns that there will be a low voter turnout. Political parties are, however, urging their supporters to turn up in large numbers and vote on February the 23rd.
Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission is appealing to voters to trust in its ability to conduct a free, fair and credible election. After an extensive meeting with stake-holders in the nation's capital Abuja, the commission clarified its decision to postpone the general elections by one week.
Religious violence between Christians and Muslims is also a concern ahead of Saturday's vote in Nigeria. Officials in the northwest have discovered the bodies of 66 people killed by what they are calling "criminal elements". The remains of 22 children were among those found in eight villages in the Kajuru area of Kaduna state. Security forces say they have already made some arrests.
Fires, possible sabotage and logistical challenges are being blamed for Nigeria's election being pushed back. A last-minute decision to postpone the ballot by one week caught everyone, from voters to candidates, off guard. The Electoral Commission says many states simply were not ready to hold the election, and more time was needed to ensure the elections were free, fair and credible.
The postponement of elections in Nigeria has been a major inconvenience for millions of voters, especially those who have taken long and expensive journeys to cast their ballots. On Saturday, the election commission decided to delay polls for a week, saying it needs more time to ensure a free and fair vote. But there are concerns that the decision could lead to a low turnout.