In a move to make Nigeria behave like other nations of the world where organizing elections are predictable, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced dates for general elections in the country for the next 36 years starting from 2019 to 2055. This was made known yesterday by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu at a consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja.
He said, “In 2019, the dates are February 16 and March 2; in 2023, the dates are February 18 and March 4. In 2027, the dates are February 20 and March 6; in 2031, it is February 15 and March 1. In 2035, it is February 17 and March 3; in 2039, it is February 19 and March 5 and in 2043, it will hold on February 21 and March 7. In 2047, it would hold on February 15 and March 2; in 2051, election would hold February 18 and March 1; while in 2055, INEC would hold elections on February 20 and March 6.”
Prof. Yakubu pointed out that in other democracies of the world, periods of elections are generally known and are not topics for speculation, explaining that the aim was to engender certainty in the election calendar and allow for long-term planning by the commission and all stakeholders. Saying that certainty in election calendar was necessary to match Nigeria’s democratic system with global best practices, the INEC chairman said in the last one week, the commission 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, adding that nine others were at the final stage of registration.
The INEC boss commended political parties for the roles they played in the governorship and National Assembly by-elections in Anambra State, which he said ensured that the exercises were crisis-free, urging all existing political parties yet to comply with all relevant sections of the constitutional requirements necessary for their existence to do so.