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Nigeria Election On Schedule: INEC

FILE: Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chief, taken June 16, 2022
FILE: Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chief, taken June 16, 2022

Mahmood Yakubu, head of Nigeria's electoral commission, said it will not postpone next month's presidential vote despite worries over widespread insecurity including attacks on election officials.

"The commission is not contemplating, let alone planning, to postpone the 2023 general election," he said. "We are going ahead to conduct the election as scheduled."

Mahmood Yakubu, speaking at London's Chatham House think tank, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was well prepared to facilitate voting in Africa's most populous nation despite the challenges.

Nigerians are set to choose a new president on Feb. 25, a vote that could have implications across the continent. Current President Muhammadu Buhari is constitutionally term limited after serving two terms.

Nigeria has some 200 million citizens and Africa's largest economy and its battle against Islamist insurgents in the northeast has led many to view it as crucial to regional stability.

But Nigeria itself is facing unprecedented insecurity that has seen the INEC itsel.f targeted by violence, including when attackers bombed the headquarters of the electoral commission in Imo state last month.