Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan, speaks during the World economic forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, May 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
In his file image taken from video released late Friday evening, Oct. 31, 2014, by Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, centre, the leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group.  Boko Haram fighters have shot or burned to death about 90 civilians and wounded 500 in ongoing fighting in a Cameroonian border town near Nigeria, officials in Cameroon said Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Boko Haram,File)
In his file image taken from video released late Friday evening, Oct. 31, 2014, by Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, centre, the leader of Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group. Boko Haram fighters have shot or burned to death about 90 civilians and wounded 500 in ongoing fighting in a Cameroonian border town near Nigeria, officials in Cameroon said Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Boko Haram,File)

Chris Kay, Bloomberg News via CHICAGO TRIBUNE

ABUJA, Nigeria (Chicago Tribune) — Nigeria’s military has six weeks to do what it failed to accomplish in six years: turn the tide against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

That’s the timeframe Nigeria’s national security adviser gave to the electoral commission to convince it on Saturday to postpone presidential and legislative elections scheduled for Feb. 14 until March 28. If the military fails in its task, it may request further delays, threatening to undermine confidence in Africa’s largest economy, which has already been damaged by falling oil prices and a weakening currency.

“Public perception is that an additional six weeks is unlikely to yield a significant improvement in the security outlook,” Manji Cheto, the London-based vice-president at consultancy Teneo Intelligence, said by e-mail. “If another poll delay occurs, the chances of social unrest turning highly disruptive will significantly increase.”

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