The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has started the countdown to the February 16, 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections.
The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who gave update on the preparations for the poll wednesday at the swearing in of the nine newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja, said it was now exactly 548 days to general election.
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 actualising the strategic plan. The complimentary document, the Election Project Plan, is almost ready. Very soon, the Election Management System that will enable us track activities almost on daily basis will be ready.”
The INEC chairman again dismissed doubts over the readiness of the commission to deliver credible election, adding 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 actualising the strategic plan. The complimentary document, the Election Project Plan, is almost ready. Very soon, the Election Management System that will enable us track activities almost on daily basis will be ready.”
On the commission’s engagements in the later part of the year, Yakubu said the 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, Kware/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.