The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has yesterday, revealed that the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections would be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
This was disclosed by the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja when the time table for the 2019 general elections were released.
He revealed the Commission will conduct elections for 1,558 constituencies, made up of one presidential constituency, 29 governorship constituencies out of 36, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 991 state Assembly constituencies, 6 Area Council chairmen as well as 62 councillorship positions for the FCT.
The INEC boss however disclosed the commission is yet to conclude on the cost implication of the election as logistic considerations and consultations are still on-going.
“The sequence of polls begins with the presidential and National Assembly elections, followed by governorship, state Assembly and FCT Area Council elections. In the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), there are critical steps from the publication of notice of election to the conduct of the polls. He said.
“These have been fixed by the commission as follows: Publication of notice of election; national and state elections–August 17, FCT Area Council election–September 3.
“Collection of nomination forms by political parties: National and state elections will be between August 11-24; FCT Area Council elections will hold on November 10. Conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from the primaries; national and state elections will be from August 18 to October 7; FCT Area Council elections is from September 4 to October 27.
“Commencement of campaign by the parties: Presidential and National Assembly is on November 18, governorship and state Assembly will start on December 1; FCT Area Council elections is on December 2, 2018. The last day for submission of nomination forms to INEC, for presidential and National Assembly is December 3, for governorship and atate Assembly is December 17 while FCT Area Council elections is on December 14.
“The last day for campaigns, for presidential and National Assembly elections is February 14, 2019, that of governorship, state Assembly and FCT Area Council elections is February 28, 2019,” the commission noted.
“For us to succeed, we need the support and cooperation of all stakeholders. I wish to seize this opportunity to remind the political parties, candidates and other stakeholders that election is a process governed by law. The commission expects full adherence to the provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act, which form the bases of the detailed time table and schedule of activities.”
“The decision of the Commission to fix election dates is to engender certainty in our electoral calendar and to enable all stakeholders to prepare adequately for elections, as is the case in many mature and developing democracies.
“Already, the Commission has concluded its Strategic Plan and the Strategic Plan of Action for the current electoral cycle and beyond covering the period 2017-2021, as well as Election Project Plan.
“The Commission is moving away from the culture Of quick-fix, fire brigade approach to the management of elections in Nigeria. As our democracy matures, the planning and implementation of electoral activities should be predictable and systematic. This is all the more pertinent given the size and population of the country, the terrain, logistical requirements, the increasing number of political parties, security challenges and number of constituencies for which elections are to be held.”
“For instance, in 2019, the Commission will conduct elections for 1,558 constituencies, made up of one presidential constituency, 29 governorship constituencies out of 36 (seven governorship elections are staggered and conducted off-cycle), 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 991 state Assembly constituencies, 6 Area council chairmen as well as 62 councillorship positions for the FCT.”
“I want to inform you that we have not finished the logistics. By Thursday this week, we will be able to inform you after our meeting, the exact figure the conduct of elections will take.”