ABUJA. — Foreign election observers have appealed for calm following the last-minute postponement of the Nigerian election by a week. The election was expected to be conducted on Saturday.
“We call on all Nigerians to remain calm and support the electoral process”, said a statement from European Union, United Nations and African Union representatives.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his main rival Atiku Abubakar condemned the election delay.
The presidential and parliamentary polls will now be held on February 23.
Election officials cited “logistical” reasons for the 11th-hour postponement.
In a press conference on Saturday, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, said the decision to delay had “nothing to do with political influence”.
The electoral chief said: “Our decision was entirely taken by the commission. It has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence.”
He said the delay was down to problems with the transportation of electoral materials — ballot papers and results sheets — to some parts of the country.
Yakubu had earlier said the decision was made because of a “determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections”. — BBC/Own Correspondent