Party supporters dance carries a banner with picture of Nigerian President and Presidential candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party Goodluck Jonathan during a rally in Lagos on January 8, 2015. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Thurs ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Abuja - Nigeria's general election will not be postponed past March 28, National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki told AFP Monday, after he successfully lobbied for a poll delay because of Boko Haram violence.
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"Those dates will not be shifted again," Dasuki said when asked if the polls, initially scheduled for February 14, could be pushed back further.
Dasuki urged election officials to postpone the vote on grounds that the military could not provide nationwide election security because all available resources were being deployed to the northeast to fight Boko Haram.
His justification for the delay was widely criticised, in
part because the military is not primarily responsible for election security in
Troops have only been called in when police and civil
defence units have needed reinforcements.
In the interview, Dasuki suggested the main motivation for
the delay was the need to assure safe voting in the northeast states where Boko
Haram is most active and controls significant territory: Adamawa, Borno and
The opposition and some observers said the poll was delayed
to allow more time for President Goodluck Jonathan to revive his campaign,
which was facing a tough challenge from ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.
But Dasuki insisted there was no political motive underlying
his call for a delay.
"It's not everybody who does things for selfish
reasons. Some of us have a conscience," he said.
He said the postponement could easily help the opposition
All Progressives Congress, because improved security could boost turnout in the
northeast, an APC stronghold.
The NSA said he believed the new military cooperation agreed
two weeks between Nigeria and its neighbours, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, will prove decisive against Boko Haram.
Nigeria's military has its own largely failed to contain the
uprising over the last six years.