FOREIGN OBSERVERS APPEAL TO NIGERIANS TO REMAIN CALM
Foreign election observers have appealed for calm following the last-minute postponement of the Nigerian election by a week.
“We call on all Nigerians to remain calm and support the electoral process”, said a statement from EU, UN 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 23 February.
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 foreign observers urged Inec to adhere to its new election date and provide regular updates to the public.
In many cases they reacted with disappointment, frustration and anger.
In the northern town of Daura, Musa Abubakar, who had travelled 550km (342 miles) from Abuja to take part in the election, told the BBC that he “couldn’t believe” what had happened.
Hajiya Sa’adatu said she was “greatly disappointed” to learn of the delay when she came out to cast her vote in the northern city of Kano.
“We spent all night without sleeping hoping to vote today,” Auwolu Usman, a voter in Maiduguri, told Reuters.
Oyi Adamezie, in the city of Warri, told Agence France-Presse: “I see this postponement of the election as a ploy to rig.”
Yusuf Ibrahim, in Abuja, told Associated Press: “I came all the way from my home to cast my vote this morning… I am not happy, I’m very, very angry.”