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.