The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday issued the timetable of activities for the 2019 general elections, fixing the Presidential and National Assembly polls to hold same day on February 16, 2019 while Governorship and State Assembly elections come up on March 2.
It scheduled the conduct of party primaries including resolution of disputes arising from primaries for August 18, 2018 to October 7, 2018 for national and state elections while that of the FCT Area Council is slated for between September 4 and October 27, 2018. Main elections into Abuja Area Councils also hold on March 2.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the commission arrived at the schedule of activities after its meeting, adding that the Publication of Notice of Election for National and State Elections would be on August 17, 2018 while that of the FCT Area Council Elections would be done on September 3, 2018.
While campaigns for the Presidential and National Assembly contest are billed to commence on November 18, 2018, those for the Governorship and State Assembly are scheduled to kick-off on December 1, 2018.
“As political parties and candidates canvass the support of the electorate, the Commission wishes to appeal to all and sundry to eschew bitterness and conduct their activities with decorum.
“The 2015 General Election was a watershed in the history of our democracy. The Commission is determined to build on this legacy by ensuring that our elections keep getting better.”
Collection of nomination forms by political parties for national and state elections begins from August 11 to 24 while that of the FCT Area Council elections would be between November 3 and 10, 2018. The last day for the submission of nomination forms to INEC is December 3, 2018 for Presidential and National Assembly Elections; December 17 for Governorship and State Assembly and December 14, 2018for the FCT Area Council Elections.
The INEC boss continued, “In a clear departure from past practice when dates were announced close to elections, the Commission decided that henceforth our Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on the 3rd Saturday of the month of February of each election year, while Governorship and State Assembly elections will hold two weeks later.
“When the end of tenure of the FCT Area Councils coincide with the general election, the FCT Council elections are to be combined with the Governorship and State Assembly elections. By these decisions, the Commission fixed Saturday 16th February 2019 as the date for Presidential and National Assembly elections while Governorship and State Assembly elections will hold on Saturday 2nd March 2019.
“Since the end of tenure of FCT Chairmen and Councillors will end in 2019, the Area Council elections will also hold on Saturday 2nld March 2019. Consequently, while other Nigerians elect their Governors and Members of State Assemblies, citizens in the FCT will elect Chairmen and Councillors for the Area Councils”.