Nigeria Postpones Election for New State Governors, New Date Set For March 18th
Nigeria’s gubernatorial election on March 11 has been postponed, an official said on Wednesday, citing logistical challenges.
Festus Okoye said gubernatorial elections will be held in 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states on March 18. The move will allow more time to reconfigure the voting machines used in last month’s presidential and parliamentary elections and redistribute them for the next election.
The gubernatorial election is part of Nigeria’s four-year general election and an election for key political offices, including the presidential election, won by the ruling Bola Tinubu party last month. This result is disputed by the opposition.
Ahead of the gubernatorial election, a district court on Wednesday approved the electoral commission’s request to reset the dual-mode voter accreditation system, or BVAS machines — part of the new technologies heavily used in Nigeria’s elections this year to make them more transparent.
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But the court’s decision came “too late” to reconfigure the machines in time for use in the March 11 election, extending the deadline by a week, the commission said.
Monitoring groups have criticized the Electoral Commission for technology issues affecting the presidential election.
These loopholes have become one of the main challenges the opposition poses to the ruling party’s victory in the presidential election.
The two main opposition parties said loopholes had given way to electoral fraud and the electoral body had failed to follow its own rules and the country’s electoral laws when announcing the winner.
Second-place finisher Atiku Abubakar called for the cancellation of the presidential election, while third-place finisher Peter Obi said he had evidence he had won the race.
The electoral commission said late Wednesday night that it had no objection to legal challenges by the opposition to the presidential election result.