Foreign election observers have appealed for calm following the last-minute postponement of the Nigerian election by a week.
We call on all Nigerians to remain calm and support the electoral process
, said a statement from EU, UN and African Union representatives.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his main rival Atiku Abubakar condemned the election delay.
President Buhari, of the APC party, urged Nigerians to “refrain from civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development”.
His main rival, Atiku Abubakar, called for calm, saying: “I’m appealing to Nigerians to please come out and vote and I’m asking them to be patient about it.”
The presidential and parliamentary polls will now be held on 23 February.
Election officials cited “logistical” reasons for the 11th-hour postponement.
In a press conference on Saturday, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), Mahmood Yakubu, said the decision to delay had “nothing to do with political influence”.
The foreign observers urged Inec to adhere to its new election date and provide regular updates to the public.
There are 73 registered candidates in the presidential election, but campaigning has been dominated by President Buhari, 76, and Atiku Abubakar, 72.
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