President Muhammadu Buhari has told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that no changes to the dates for the general election in 2023 will be allowed. This is to make sure that the schedule is strictly followed.
INEC’s plan from last year says that the elections for Governor and State Assembly will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023. On February 25, 2023, people will vote for the President and the National Assembly.
Last week, however, there were rumors that logistics problems could force the election board to move the polls by at least two weeks.
The burning down of INEC offices all over the country and the lack of security in the South-East and North-East are two of the most important problems.
Also, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the head of INEC, was worried about the country’s continuing fuel shortage last week. He said that the lack of fuel could make it hard to move election materials and election workers.
There are also worries that the lack of naira could hurt the elections, even though it is thought that the problem will be fixed before the vote.
A senior member of the commission told the Daily Independent that the electoral body is determined to stick to the scheduled date, but that recent events in the country may force it to announce an extension.
“The commission is doing everything it can to stick to the announced dates, but there are a lot of problems happening across the country, such as our offices being burned down, security problems and attacks on INEC officials, a long-lasting fuel shortage, and problems caused by the redesign of the naira. I wouldn’t be surprised if the election was pushed back at least two weeks.”
But INEC’s Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said that there were no plans to delay the elections. He said that the dates that were set for the elections would stay the same.
“The commission’s dates for holding the general election in 2023 are set in stone,” he said.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, who is the INEC Chairman’s Chief Press Secretary, also agreed with Okoye’s point of view. He said that there are no plans to move the elections.
“Absolutely not. The commission is not even thinking about moving the general election in 2023.
Sunday, a senior presidential aide who did not want to be named told Daily Independent that President Muhammadu Buhari has given clear instructions to INEC to make sure that the scheduled dates are kept.
“I don’t think it’s fair to worry that the election dates might be changed. The president has told INEC in no uncertain terms to make sure that the dates set for the election are followed to the letter. Also, the commission has said over and over again that the dates will not be changed. So, right now, we are sure that the presidential election on February 25 will happen as planned.
“The only problem INEC brought up that makes sense is the lack of fuel, which they said could affect logistics. I think that problem has been solved, though, because INEC has already said that it won’t use fuel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to move people and things before the general elections.”