Nigeria postpones elections over security concerns

February presidential poll postponed until March

Nigeria is postponing its 14 February presidential election until March 28 due to security concerns over the ongoing military campaign by Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast of the country.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that, following advice from the nation's security chiefs, it will hold the presidential and national assembly elections on 28 March, and the governorship and state assembly elections on 1 April.

The ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) had been pressuring INEC to delay the polls, over concerns that the commission had yet to distribute all biometric voting cards in time.

However the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has insisted that the only reason the PDP pushed for a delay was due to the fear that Jonathan would lose against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari of the APC if the polls went ahead on 14 February.

The APC believes that INEC caved in to pressure from the PDP, and some political analysts believe the postponement could stoke unrest because the opposition has been firmly against a delay.

Washington has issued a statement saying the US is "deeply disappointed" by Nigeria's decision to delay the election.