This is highly troubling. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country by far and has been a cornerstone of African economic and political stability. Let’s hope this is just a blip and not a sign that Nigeria is degrading.

The electoral commission in Nigeria has postponed the 14 February presidential election by six weeks over concerns about the security situation.

Commission chief Attahiru Jega said he had been told troops would not be available to help patrol the ballot because they would be fighting Boko Haram militants in the north-east.

Nigeria and four other states plan to deploy a joint force of 8,700 soldiers.

The election will now be held on 28 March instead.