A man reads a copy of a newspaper which managed to print the news of the postponement in time, in the morning at a newspaper stand in Kano, in northern Nigeria Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. Nigeria’s electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23, making the announcement a mere five hours before polls were set to open Saturday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Nigerians check voters’ lists at a polling station in Kaduna, Nigeria, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. Nigeria’s electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23, making the announcement a mere five hours before polls were set to open. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
YOLA, Nigeria – Nigerians have awakened to find the presidential election delayed a week from Saturday until Feb. 23 because of what the electoral commission has called unspecified “challenges.” The country’s top two political parties condemn the last-minute postponement.
Some bitter voters in the capital, Abuja, and elsewhere who traveled home to cast their ballots say they cannot afford to wait another seven days.
A spokesman for top opposition challenger Atiku Abubakar in Delta state said the electoral commission “has destroyed the soul of Nigeria with this act.”
Abubakar is expected to speak to reporters later Saturday from his home in the north.
One ruling party campaign director said it is better to give the electoral commission time to conduct a credible vote.
The commission is to give more details in the afternoon.