The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on the same day while gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections will follow.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at the quarterly consultative meeting with the media in Abuja on Monday.
Naija News recalled that INEC had last year announced that the presidential and National Assembly elections would hold on February 16, 2019 while the governorship, state legislative and area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be conducted on March 2, 2019. However, the National Assembly rejected the arrangement and amended the Electoral Act such that the National Assembly election would hold first while the presidential election would come last. The bill has since been transferred to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
Yakubu, however, said the elections would hold based on the commission’s time-table.
He stated further that the commission had not violated the constitution, adding that the commission was working in accordance with the extant laws.
Yakubu said, “There are many ‘ifs’ but here, we deal with certainty. As far as the commission is concerned, there is no legal lacuna at the moment. What we have done is on the basis of the existing law and nothing has changed.
“If the bill is assented to, we will look at the provisions and inform Nigerians on the next step. But as far as the commission is concerned at the moment, we are operating under the existing law and we have issued a timetable for the activities accordingly. If something happens tomorrow, we will examine it and proceed accordingly.”
The INEC boss added that the budget for the 2019 elections had been drafted based on the the commission’s “schedule of activities” and would soon be submitted to the National Assembly for approval.