Report have started to gather momentum that the Feb. 14, general election may not hold as Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with the country’s top political leaders on Thursday to discuss postponing the date, a proposal that has infuriated the opposition in the closely contested campaign. WSJ report.
The Nigeria’s Council of State, an influential advisory body chaired by Mr. Jonathan, is considering a delay in the vote of up two months, three people close to the discussions said.
The Nigerian army is also pressing for the postponement, saying it would give it more time to eliminate Boko Haram, the Islamist insurgency that has waged a nearly six-year-war against Africa’s most populous nation.
The opposition derided calls to delay the vote, saying they were attempts by Mr. Jonathan to buy time to secure his election for a second, four-year term.
“We are very united in this matter, that the election should not be postponed,” said Lai Mohammad, spokesman for the All Progressives Congress.
As Mr. Jonathan and other senior political figures weighed putting off the scheduled Feb. 14 vote, INEC said it was ready to go forward with the balloting as planned.
“We are working on making the election as scheduled,” said spokesman Nick Dazang, adding: “People are merely making their noises. We are just amused.”
It remains to be seen whether the commission, which has formal oversight over scheduling and running elections, will be able to preserve its independence and conduct an election seen as credible by all parties.