A Nigerian official says the electoral commission is postponing Feb. 14 elections for six weeks to give a new multinational force time to secure northeastern areas under the sway of Boko Haram.

Millions could be disenfranchised if the voting went ahead while the Islamic extremists hold a large swath of the northeast and commit mayhem that has driven 1.5 million people from their homes.

A major offensive with warplanes and ground troops from Chad and Nigeria already has forced the insurgents from a dozen towns and cities in the past 10 days. Even greater military strikes by more countries are planned.

The official knowledgeable about discussions by the Independent National Electoral Commission says the commission will announce the postponement later Saturday.