“The commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible. Consequently the commissioners decided to reschedule the presidential and national assembly elections to Saturday 23 February 2019,” chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, told reporters in the early hours of Saturday.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari sought to reassure voters that next year’s elections would be free and fair on Monday after the opposition and international observers raised concerns over the way a gubernatorial vote was conducted last week. “I have committed myself many times to ensure that elections are fully participatory, free and fair and that the Independent National Electoral Commission will be exactly independent and properly staffed and resourced,” said Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in his address.
The Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, Mrs Rose Orianran-Anthony, made the disclosure on Thursday in Asaba during the electoral body’s consultative meeting with political parties. Orianran-Anthony said that 135,897 PVCs were unclaimed in 2014/2015 registration period and 129,525 PVCs were uncollected from the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
INEC’s National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu: “We are witnessing an ugly trend of vote-buying in recent elections in the country. This is giving our democracy a bad name. There is difference between democracy, – government of the people made by the people and for the people – and plutocracy, which is government by the rich. We are going to make a big statement with the Osun governorship election by arresting and prosecuting vote-buyers. We can’t carry this ugly trend to 2019 elections.”