The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the governorship and state assembly elections in Nigeria until March 18, 2023. The elections were originally scheduled for March 11, but INEC announced the postponement following a meeting of its executives on Wednesday evening.
According to an official who spoke with Peoples Gazette by phone, the postponement was due to logistical challenges related to the configuration and transportation of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), a critical component of the electoral process.
The decision to postpone the elections was not taken lightly, as INEC had been working tirelessly to ensure that everything was in place for the March 11 polls. However, following a careful review of the logistical challenges, the commission determined that it was necessary to postpone the elections by one week to allow for additional preparation time.
“We should be able to get everything in order before March 18,” the official told Peoples Gazette. “The elections were postponed to allow one more week for preparations.”
The decision to postpone the elections has caused some concern among political stakeholders and the general public, who are eager to see the democratic process unfold smoothly and without incident. However, INEC has reassured everyone that it is working diligently to ensure that the elections are free, fair, and transparent.
At the time of this report, the meeting at INEC headquarters in Abuja was still underway, and the commission was continuing to work on resolving the logistical challenges related to the BVAS system. The BVAS system is a critical component of the electoral process, as it is used to verify the identities of voters and prevent fraudulent voting.
The postponement of the elections comes after INEC convinced the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to vary its order granting Peter Obi of the Labour Party and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar permission to inspect the election materials.
INEC had cited the need to reconfigure the BVAS system for the conduct of the polls on March 11. The court order was modified to allow for the inspection of election materials after the completion of the elections.
Despite the challenges posed by the postponement of the elections, INEC remains committed to conducting free, fair, and transparent elections in Nigeria.
The commission has assured stakeholders and the public that it will continue to work diligently to resolve the logistical challenges related to the BVAS system and ensure that everything is in place for the rescheduled elections on March 18, 2023.