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Delaying polls may benefit Boko Haram – report

2015-02-05 14:40
File: AFP

Lagos – A delay in elections might stifle President Goodluck Jonathan’s chances of winning, particularly, if Boko Haram continues with its campaign in deadly bombings, according to a Time Magazine report.

Jonathan has been criticised for failing to end the violence unleashed by Boko Haram over the years. His rival Muhammadu Buhari, on the other hand, has made security the cornerstone of his campaign.

"If Boko Haram continues with its campaign of deadly bombings — a female suicide blew herself up in the north-eastern state of Gombe on February 2 — a delay in elections might actually harm Jonathan's chances," the report said.

Foreign powers

The report comes as INEC commissioner Amina Zachary told Reuters on Wednesday that the elections may be delayed over fears that not enough registered voters would be able to cast their ballots.

"Let's see how the PVC (permanent voter card) distribution goes by February 8, then maybe," Zachary, said.

She, however, made it clear that no decision had been taken.

INEC extended its deadline for voters to collect their cards to 8 February, but only 44 million out of 68.8 million have been distributed so far, with just 10 days to go before the poll.

Foreign powers are closely observing how elections will be held in the country and have voiced concerns over violence in the aftermath, as was the case after the 2011 election, when 800 people died.

A delay would stoke already rising tensions ahead of the vote, but failure to get enough cards out would also compromise the poll.

Read more on: inec  |  boko haram  |  goodluck jonathan  |  muhammadu buhari  |  elections 2015

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