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Nigeria election commission delays polls for governors by a week


INEC says it needs more time to reconfigure BVAS machines at the center of last month’s contentious presidential vote.

Nigeria’s election commission says it postponed elections by a week to elect new governors because it needed more time to reconfigure electronic machines that were at the center of a highly contested presidential vote last month.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, polls to elect governors in 28 of the country’s 36 states will now be held on March 18.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said in a statement late Wednesday that it needed more time to reconfigure its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which uses fingerprints and facial recognition to identify voters and relay results from polling stations .

The same BVAS machines were used during the presidential and parliamentary ballots on February 25.

“This decision was not taken lightly, but it is necessary to ensure that there is enough time to back up the data stored on the more than 176,000 BVAS machines from the presidential election and the National Assembly…then reconfiguring them for the Governorship and the State Assembly. elections,” said INEC.

Observers from the European Union, Commonwealth and other agencies reported a range of problems during the February elections, including failures in systems designed to prevent vote manipulation. They criticized INEC for poor planning and voting delays, but they did not allege fraud.

The candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos, was declared the winner in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

He won 8.8 million votes, ahead of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) contender Atiku Abubakar, with 6.9 million, and the third challenger, Peter Obi of the Labor Party, with 6.1 million.

The PDP and Labor Party say huge delays in voting in the presidential election and problems uploading the election results through the BVAS should be investigated.

A court had earlier on Wednesday rejected an opposition request to halt the reconfiguration of BVAS so their teams could check for forensic evidence of election fraud.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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