Nigerian Ruling Party Says INEC Schemed With Opposition

(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress party accused the nation’s election commission of colluding with the opposition over the delay of a presidential and parliamentary vote last weekend.

The Independent National Electoral Commission “is working with anti-democratic forces,” Adams Oshiomhole, the APC’s chairman, told reporters in Abuja Monday at a press conference also attended by President Muhammadu Buhari. “INEC’s leadership knew they were going to postpone and shared this information with the People’s Democratic Party not to waste their money, while telling us everything was well,” he said.

An INEC spokesman denied any party had been informed in advance. “We are not colluding with any political party,” Rotimi Oyekanmi said by phone from Abuja.

INEC announced a one-week delay of the election at around 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, just a few hours before voting was meant to start. It said that was down to logistical problems, and nothing to do with political interference or security concerns.

Buhari, a 76-year-old former general, faces his main challenge in getting a second term from the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, a 72-year-old businessman and ex-vice president. Abubakar said on Sunday that the government was behind the delay to ensure a lower turnout on Feb. 23, which may benefit Buhari.

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