A Surprise Delay Kicks Off a Bumpy Final Week Before Nigeria’s Election

A Surprise Delay Kicks Off a Bumpy Final Week Before Nigeria’s Election
A man reads a copy of a newspaper leading with the news that the general election was postponed, Kano, northern Nigeria, Feb. 16, 2019 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

The delay came at the last possible moment. On the night of Feb. 15, after many Nigerians had already traveled in order to vote in a general election planned for the following day, officials announced it would be pushed back to Feb. 23 because of logistical problems. Specifically, the election commission cited fires at three of its offices and said it had been unable to transport voting materials to their destinations.

While the extra time may help the commission work out these organizational kinks, it has come at the cost of exacerbating pre-election tensions in Africa’s most populous country. The camps of the two leading presidential candidates, incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and his chief opponent, Atiku Abubakar, immediately blamed each other for the delay, and vowed to resume campaigning even though the commission said it was not permitted. The commission relented on Monday and allowed campaigning to go ahead.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.