The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday said the commission fixed dates for the 2019 general elections early in order to encourage all stakeholders in the political process to prepare ahead of the poll.
Yakubu said besides the presidential election slated February 16, 2019, INEC will conduct elections throughout the year, including 68 elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The INEC chief spoke at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room organized by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, (PLAC) in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said by his calculation, there will be one presidential election, 29 governorship polls, 109 senatorial constituencies, 360 federal constituencies and 991 state constituencies
Yakubu said: “The date engenders certainty in the election calendar. You know when the election will hold. So, it enables you to plan. We are particularly interested in this because 2019 will be a year full of elections. We will have the national election and in addition, the tenure of chairmen and councilors of the six area councils will come to an end. So we will conduct 68 elections in FCT.
“Also the tenures of the Governors of Kogi and Bayelsa will also come to an end towards end of 2019. So we start the year with election and end it with election. So there are so many elections to hold and there is wisdom in planning well in advance. The nation must move away from the culture of last minute rush. There must be certainty in the calendar of our elections.”
He said the commission had only fixed a date for the general election but yet to release the calendar and time table.