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Nigeria Postpones Election For Six Weeks To Combat Boko Haram

Jonathan Goodluck Vs Boko HaramNigeria’s electoral commission, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced on Saturday that it will postpone the nation’s February 14 Presidential and Legislative elections for six weeks, with a new date set for March 28, to allow time for a new multinational force to secure the northeastern region under the control of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

Millions of Nigerians could have been disenfranchised had the voting went ahead as scheduled as the Islamic extremist group maintains control of large scope of the northeast region while continuing to commit mayhem that has driven around 1.5 million people from their homes.

Despite the ongoing terror being committed in the northeast region, the U.S. has been urging Nigeria not to delay the election and instead press forward with the voting.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had visited Nigeria two weeks ago and had said that “one of the best ways to fight back against Boko Haram” was to hold a credible and peaceful election, on time.

“It’s imperative that these elections happen on time as scheduled,” Kerry said.

Analysts have been calling the election too close to call and that it could be the most tightly contested election since the decades of military dictatorship which ended in 1999.

Nigeria and its four bordering nations announced on Saturday that they will deploy an 8,750-strong force by next month to combat the growing regional threat posed by Boko Haram.

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