Professor Attahiru Jega, National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the rescheduling of the 2015 Presidential elections to March 28 while that of Governorship and State House of Assembly has been shifted to April 11.
Jega cited security concerns for the postponement while urging Nigerians to take the Commission’s decision in good faith.
He said the Commission could not waive off security concerns raised by the National Security Adviser and all the Service Chiefs who had asked for a period of six weeks to mount a special operation against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Jega expressed hope that the security agencies would be able to bring the security situation under control within the six weeks they had asked for while insisting that the Commission would adhere to the provisions of the Electoral Act by ensuring that the elections hold at least within 30 days to the hand over date which is May 29.
He said INEC on its part was ready to proceed with the election as earlier scheduled on February 14 and 28 but could not also willfully risk the lives of its ad hoc staff, voters and others by proceeding with the election against strong advice from security agencies.
Security Chiefs had written INEC stating that they could not guarantee safety of voters and voting officials if the elections hold on February 14 as planned.
The security agencies said they were starting a major military operation against the Boko Haram sect on the same February 14 earlier slated for the Presidential elections and could not be distracted by any elections.