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Electoral Commission fixes general elections timetable till 2055

  • As IPAC throws weight behind INEC over 2019 election sequence 

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the timetable for the General Elections till 2055 in an effort to ensure certainty in the electoral calendar and allow for longterm planning.

Speaking on Wednesday at the regular quarterly consultative meeting between the management of INEC and the political parties in Abuja, INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the Commission had fixed dates for future elections in the country even up to 2055.

Yakubu stressed that the initiative was to ensure stability and certainty in the country’s democratic process as it obtains in the developed world like in United States, where everybody knows the dates for presidential elections.

“On this principle, the dates for the 2019 elections as well as future elections are no longer a matter of speculation,” Yakubu stated. “In 2019, the dates are February 16 and March 2. In 2023, it is February 18 and March 4; in 2027 February 27 and March 6; 2031, it is February 15 and March 1, and so on.”

He further argued that the idea was to “engender certainty in our electoral calendar, allows for long term planning by the Commission as well as stakeholders and brings our democracy in line with the best practice around the world. I am glad that this decision has received the overwhelming support of stakeholders.”

On the issue of underaged voting, Yakubu pleaded with political parties to assist the Commission in weeding out ineligible voters from the voter register, stressing: “I wish to appeal to political parties to help the Commission in further cleaning up the voter register.

“This appeal is all the more pertinent here because, in addition to the display of the voter register in every polling unit nationwide before the 2011 and 2015 general elections for claims and objections, copies of the register were given to every political party at the time.

“In addition, the Commission also availed each political party that fielded candidates in the five governorship elections conducted since the 2015 general elections a copy of the updated voter register for each state.

“However, as at today no political party has formally drawn the attention of the commission to the prevalence of ineligible persons based on their interrogation of the voter register,” he said.

The INEC chairman reassured party leaders that all Permanent Voting Cards (PVCs) in respect of persons registered in 2017, including requests for transfers and replacement of lost, damaged or defaced voter cards, will be available for collection on later than the first week of May.

He also reiterated that PVCs of citizens registered this year will be available for collection before the 2019 General Elections, reminding the parties that while some of them have complied with constitutional requirements, some of them “are yet to take appropriate measures” for full compliance despite letters written to them by the the electoral body.

The breaches of the political parties bordered on non-validity of national executives, ownership of offices in the FCT, and non submission of elections expenses to INEC.

Meanwhile, the 68 registered political parties in Nigeria have thrown their weight behind the sequence for the 2019 General Elections released by the Commission.

The political parties, under the aegis of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said that the matter being a constitutional issue, the parties stand by the decision of the Commission.

According to the time table and schedule of activities for the 2019 elections, the presidential and National Assembly election is to hold on the February 16, 2019, while the governorship, State Assembly and the FCT council election is scheduled for March 2, 2019.

Speaking at the meeting, IPAC Chairman Mohammed Danlado said that the electoral body was right in sticking to their guns as all the necessary laws were yet to be amended.

While stressing that the issue was a constitutional matter and until the laws are amended, INEC’s order of election stands under existing law, saying: “I think this is a constitutional issue and electoral matter. What INEC has done at the moment is based on what is in the provision of the constitution.

“If there is any law that supersedes what they have done, that law is not to be abandoned. So we stand on the same page. So we have to be working together, INEC, political parties and most importantly, the stakeholders in the democratic development,” he noted.

Danlado asked the support of INEC in curbing lobbyists in politics, stressing that without the support of the electoral body, the party machinery will be hijacked by big money lobbies.


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Posted by on Feb 28 2018. Filed under Elections, Elections 2019, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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