The Independent National Electoral Commission has announced a shift in the 2015 general election earlier scheduled for February 14 and 28.
Announcing the postponement at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday night, the chairman of the Commission, Attahiru Jega, said the presidential and national assembly elections will now hold on March 28 while the governorship and state assemblies election will take place on April 11.
Mr. Jega said the elections have to be postponed after the nation’s security agencies indicated to the commission that they were not available to support the elections planned for February 14 and 28.
The INEC chairman said security operatives agencies told INEC that they were commencing a six-week special operation against Boko Haram insurgents in the north eastern corridors of the country and would rather not be distracted by the elections.
Mr. Jega announced that the security forces also said the operations are due to commence on February 14, the date INEC had planned for the presidential and federal legislative elections.
This decision by the security forces, he said, rendered INEC’s readiness and hitherto insistence to go ahead with the elections a risky venture.
Mr. Jega said his commission was not forced by anyone to shift the elections, saying since the security agencies spoke of their unavailability, it would be inappropriate for INEC to risk the lives of its about 700,000 workers, who would conduct the elections.
He said even with the postponement, INEC does not envisage additional costs for the conduct of the polls.