The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced that the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections will hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
INEC’s national commissioner, South West, Solomon Soyebi, said this during a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
He also said that the governorship, state assembly and federal capital territory area council elections will hold on Saturday, March 2 of the year.
Soyebi said the early release of the dates for the election was “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.”
“To that extent, the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday, 16th February 2019, while the Governorship/State Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council Elections will hold on Saturday 2nd March 2019,” he stated.
The INEC spokesman said that there was the need for Nigeria, as a developing democracy to borrow a leaf from what obtains in other climes in order to improve its democratic practice.
He said: “Our democracy is maturing and the Commission believes that there should be certainty with regard to the timetable for elections.
“For instance, 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.”
Soyebi also told newsmen that INEC had received a report from the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, of the Federation, “informing us that 23 Electoral Officers indicted over the investigation into the 10th December Rivers Re-run elections have been charged to court.”
He said that “all the 23 Electoral Officers will be placed on half salary and will not report for duty pending the determination of their respective cases by the court.”