US News and World Report quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the delay in the Nigerian elections resulting from both the threat of violence and the permanent voter cards that had not been fully distributed:

Pham says threats of violence likely weren’t the only reason the commission postponed February’s voting. For this election, Nigeria is implementing the use of permanent voter cards, which are chip-based and will be swiped upon voting to ensure identity verification. A week before the original elections were set to take place, only 45 million of 68 million had been distributed to voters, even though the country had four years to prepare for the election.


Pham says the delay has likely worked in Jonathan’s favor, given the government’s recent successes against Boko Haram. In the six weeks since the election was postponed, Nigerian authorities, with the aid of neighboring militaries and militias, have been able to push insurgents back. In the extra time, the Nigerian army said its forces had eradicated terrorists from all but three local government districts. At the beginning of the year, Boko Haram controlled about 20 local government areas and stoked fear across the country.

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