The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said on Monday that nothing has changed in the dates announced for the 2019 general elections.
Yakubu who spoke at a media parley in Abuja as part of the preparation towards the 2019 general election, noted that the stand of the Commission was based on the existing law of the country.
The INEC chief noted that budget for the 2019 general election would be presented to the National Assembly before the end of the week.
He said there is no lacuna in the existing law and where there is any amendment, the Commission would adjust. “But until that is done, INEC would still stand by the time table and scheduled of activities it released on January 9, 2018,” Yakubu stated.
The two chambers of the National Assembly passed a bill to change the order of the general election, making the presidential election the last to be conducted.
Yakubu stressed that the Commission only interest is for free, fair and credible elections, addinghat “None of us here have any other interest.
“On the bill passed by the joint House of the National Assembly, the second issue I will like to comment on relating to the preparation to the 2019 general elections is the electoral legal framework. We are aware of the bill passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly, awaiting assent. And we are aware also of the furor generated by the provisions of Section 25 of the extant law.
“On January 9 this year, we issued a time table and scheduled of activities for 2019 general election based on the extant law and nothing has changed.
“As it is at the moment, the only laws that exist are the electoral law 2010 as amended and the constitution of Nigeria, 1999 as amended. We released the time table and scheduled of election on the basis of law as it exists and that is the position of the Commission going forward.”
The election, according to him, will begin with presidential and National Assembly polls on February 15, while governorship, states Assembly and FCT Area council elections take place on March 2.
“We have already informed you that there is a principle that is behind these days. As democracy matures we should move to certainty, away from uncertainty. So dates for future elections in the country have been fixed by the Commission for the third Saturday in the month of February of the election year, which is 2019. Followed two weeks later by state governorship election which in 2019 falls on March 2,” he said.