The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has started the countdown to the February 16, 2019, presidential and National Assembly elections, saying it has now exactly 547 days to the general election.
The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who gave an update on the preparations for the poll during the swearing in of the nine newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja, said all is ready now for the 2019 elections.
According to the INEC timetable, presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019, while governorship, state assembly, and area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will hold two weeks later on March 2, 2019.
Yakubu said in terms of strategic planning, the commission was prepared for 2019. “Furthermore, we are already taking practical steps towards actualizing the strategic plan. The complimentary document, the Election Project Plan, is almost ready. Very soon, the Election Management System that will enable us to track activities almost on daily basis will be ready,” he said.
While dismissing doubts over the readiness of the commission to deliver credible election, Mr. Yakubu added that going by the outcome of recent elections conducted by INEC, it is clear that votes count.
“We shall continue to uphold the sanctity of citizens’ choice as the only basis for determining elective representation in Nigeria,” he said.
He told the new resident commissioners that they were fortunate to be assuming duty at the time when the commission is almost done with preparatory activities for the 2019 election.
“In terms of strategic planning, we are prepared for 2019. Furthermore, we are already taking practical steps towards actualizing the strategic plan. The complimentary document, the Election Project Plan, is almost ready. Very soon, the Election Management System that will enable us to track activities almost on daily basis will be ready.”
On the commission’s engagements in the later part of the year, Yakubu said it would conduct four elections in quick succession in the next few months,
The elections are for Dukku North State Constituency by-election in Gombe State which would hold this weekend to be followed by the Eti Osa I State Constituency in Lagos State, Kwara/Wamakko Federal Constituency in Sokoto State and the governorship election in Anambra State scheduled to hold on November 18.
The nine Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) sworn in Wednesday are Mrs. Asman Sani Maikudi, Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun, Prof. Riskuww A. Shehu, Kassim Gana Giedam, Jibrin Ibrahim Zerawa, Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji, Prof. Sam Egwu, Mike A. igini and Mallam Sadiq Musa.