Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan held talks Thursday on postponing next week’s presidential election over mounting attacks by the radical Boko Haram group, but the election commission insisted on maintaining the date, a governor said. Jonathan held seven hours of talks with security officials, state governors, the election commission and former heads of state on whether to proceed with the vote in the face of growing bloodshed in the northeast, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha told journalists. Among those attending the meeting of the Council of State was Jonathan’s main challenger in the election, General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, who led Nigeria between 1983 and 1985.
Okorocha said the security agencies had expressed concerns about “security challenges” during the elections. But the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insisted it was “very ready to conduct these elections”, he said.
The council resolved that “INEC should then inform the nation as to their preparedness and proceed to conduct the elections,” Okorocha added.
The prospect of an election delay was first raised last month by National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki, who said that INEC should look at delaying the polls because of problems in distributing voter cards.