INEC releases 36-year election timetable

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

• Receives 108 applications for registration as political parties
• Rivers elders to partner INEC, security agencies for credible polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced a 36-year election timetable.It would span eight general elections in the country beginning from 2019 to 2055.The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this yesterday at a consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja.

Giving details of the electoral plan, Yakuba said: “In 2019, the dates for elections would be February 16 and March 2, in 2023, the dates are February 18 and March 4, while in 2027, the elections would hold on February 20 and March 6.Also in 2031, elections would hold on February 15 and March 1, while the 2035 elections would hold on February 17 and March 3.

In 2039, February 19 and March 5, would serve the purpose, in 2043, it would hold on February 21 and March 7.Other dates are: 2047, February 15 and March 2, 2051, February 18 and March 1, and in 2055, February 20 and March 6.Yakubu disclosed that in other democracies, periods of elections are not subject of conjectures and speculations, but known to all.

He explained that the aim was to engender certainty in the election calendar and allow for long-term planning by the commission and all stakeholders.The INEC boss explained that certainty in election calendar was necessary to match Nigeria’s democratic system with global best practices.He added that in the last one week, INEC had received 108 applications from associations seeking to be registered as political parties.He said 66 of the applications did not meet the initial requirements, while 33 passed and had proceeded to the next stage. Nine others are already at the final stage of registration.

The chairman said the commission had also done data consolidation and ran the automated finger print identification system (AFIS) on all newly registered voters.He explained that the commission was determined to clean up the voter register and remove ineligible voters, as provided for in the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

Meanwhile, some elders in Rivers State have pledged to partner INEC and security agencies to tackle violence in the 2019 general elections.The elders include former President of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, former INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Baritor Lenu Kpagih, and Dr. Sofiri Peterside.

Working under the aegis of Initiative for Credible Elections (ICE), they said they are worried by the rhetoric and body language of key political actors.Added to this, he said, is the political tension, crises and violence that had been perpetrated by some political actors and some few INEC staff and security agencies.

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