An October 7 deadline to produce their presidential candidates for the February 16, 2019 presidential election have been given to Nigerian political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Chairman Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, who released the time table and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections in Abuja yesterday, said that Governorship, National/State Assemblies candidates are also to have been picked on the same date.
The electoral body’s boss reaffirmed that Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 16, 2019; Governorship/ state Assembly/ FCT Area Council elections are slated March 2, 2019. The parties have between August 18 and October 7 to pick candidates for all the elections.
The Presidential election campaign will start on November 18 and end on February 14, 2019 while the governorship/state assemblies’ campaign will hold between December 1 and February 28, 2019
Parties are expected to collect forms for all the elections at the INEC headquarters between August 17 and 24.
All the duly filled forms for Presidential and National Assembly candidates are to be submitted latest by October 18 and forms for governorship and state assemblies to be sent in by November 2.
Parties have between November 7 and December 1 to withdraw/replace candidates. INEC will publish the list of nominated Presidential and National Assembly candidates on January 17, 2019; Governorship and Assemblies elections January 31, 2019.
The commission also fixed January 2, 2018 for the publication of notice for all elections while January 7, 2018 is fixed for the publication of official register of voters for the election.
The political parties are also expected to submit names of their agents for the elections on February 1, 2019 for presidential and National Assembly eections.
Prof Yakubu said INEC would be conducting elections for 1558 constituencies made up of one presidential constituency, 29 governorship constituencies out of 36 as seven governorship elections are staggered, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 991 state assembly constituencies, 6 Area Council chairmen as well as 62 councilor ship positions for the FCT.
The INEC boss urged all the political parties and all and sundry “to eschew bitterness and conduct their activities with decorum.”
He also assured the country that the commission was determined to better the 2015 general elections which became a watershed in the history of the country’s democracy.
“The commission is determined to build on this legacy by ensuring that our elections keep getting better,” he said, adding: “The decision of the Commission to fix election dates is to engender certainty in our electoral calendar and enable all stakeholders to prepare adequately for elections, as is the case in any mature and developing democracies.”