INEC Fixes Date For 2019 Elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) appears to be telling Nigerians they are indeed ready for the next general election and cannot wait to get started.
That is the best way to describe the Commission’s announcement of February 16, 2019, as the date for the next presidential election in the country.
The announcement comes two years ahead of the date and not even the politicians have started campaigning…well at least not publicly.
INEC’s national commissioner in charge of the south-west, Solomon Soyebi, who made the announcement, said that this would enable them plan better.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, March 9, he said; "In Nigeria, the constitution provides for elections to hold not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days to the end of the incumbent’s tenure.
“In order to ensure certainty in our dates for elections, and to allow for proper planning by the Commission, political parties, security agencies, candidates and all stakeholders, the Commission has decided to fix the date for the National Elections for the third Saturday in February of the election year, followed by State elections two weeks later.”
It is safe to believe that this will be the pattern for 2019 and future elections since he made reference to other countries.
“In the United States, general elections always hold on the second Tuesday of November in the election year. In Ghana, it’s the 7th of December of the election year, while in other places like Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Costa Rica and Switzerland, the dates are also known in advance,” he stated.
He claimed that “our democracy is maturing and the Commission believes that there should be certainty with regard to the timetable for elections”.
However, for Nigerians, whether there is certainty in election timetable or not, the dates of the elections would count for nothing if their votes don’t count.