Botched elections: How external, internal forces forced INEC to postpone polls

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The new February 23 election date is "without equivocation" final, he said.

"You can postpone an election, but you cannot postpone destiny", Abubakar tweeted.

On Saturday, the election commission made a decision to delay polls for a week, saying it needs more time to ensure a free and fair vote.

He said it was an attempt by Buhari to cling to power amid a stiff challenge.

"This dents the credibility of the election, because at best the election commission was incompetent", said Amaka Anku, a Nigeria analyst at the Eurasia Group.

Our promise to Nigerians is that we will continue to stand with the people in exposing APC's rigging plots and stopping them from creating more havoc and destruction of our democratic process.

"A fait accompli verdict was going to be handed over to INEC by which it would have no choice but to postpone the elections in states like Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Edo, Oyo, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Ondo and Osun", the source said.

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His statement appealed to Nigerians for calm during the "trying moment in our democratic journey" and stressed that his administration does not interfere in the commission's work.

The opposition party had urged the electoral body to rescind its decision on the suspension of campaigns, a position backed by Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the ruling party's presidential campaign council.

A man reads a copy of one of the few newspapers that managed to print news of the last-minute Nigerian election postponement in time, in Kano in northern Nigeria on Saturday morning.

Elsewhere, some Nigerians anguished over rescheduling weddings, exams and other milestones because of the delay.

Also, the PDP expressed shock at alleged "impeccable information of a martial directive from the high command of the APC, to INEC to do everything possible, both legitimate and illegitimate, legal and illegal, covert and dubious, crooked and manipulative, to ensure that they deliver victory to the APC Candidate for Isoko Federal Constituency, at all cost, during the Saturday, February 23, 2019 National Assembly election in Isoko land".

A civic group monitoring the election, the Situation Room, blasted the "needless tension and confusion" and called on political parties to avoid incitement and misinformation.

The reason for this is that President Buhari is determined to have a staggered election where he can use security agencies to subvert the will of the people at the polls. This election is a referendum on his record on insecurity, the economy and corruption, all of which he has been criticized by some Nigerians for doing too little too slowly.

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