Nigeria delays poll in Boko crisis

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Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Nigeria is postponing its elections because security forces fighting Boko Haram extremists cannot ensure voters’ safety around the country, in a decision likely to infuriate the opposition.

Officials in President Goodluck Jonathan’s government have been calling for weeks for the postponement, saying the electoral commission is not ready to hold what promises to be the most tightly contested presidential vote in the history of Africa’s biggest democracy.

The presidential and legislative elections were due to be held on February 14, but have now been delayed until March 28.

“Many people will be very angry and annoyed,” independent national electoral commission chairman Attahiru Jega said.

“I want to assure all Nigerians, no one is forcing us to make this decision, this is a very weighty decision.”

He said the commission had considered holding elections outside of the four north-eastern states most affected by the uprising by Boko Haram Islamic militants.

But it decided that the likelihood of an inconclusive presidential election would be “very, very high”.

Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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