By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set a record in Nigeriaa��s electoral system by releasing a 36-year election timetable for the country.
The election dates run from 2019 to 2055.
INECa��s action came as controversy continued to trail the alteration of the sequence of the 2019 general elections.
In October 2017, INEC announced its time table for the 2019 general elections, where it fixed the presidential election for February 16, 2019.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, unveiled on Wednesday the 36-year timetable at the quarterly consultative forum with political parties in Abuja.
He said that the election calendar had become necessary for Nigeria to be in line with best global practice as well as to bring the Nigerian democracy alongside what obtains in other countries.
According to the INEC calendar of elections as, a�?in 2019, the dates are February 16 and March 2; in 2023, the dates are February 18 and March 4. In 2027, the dates are February 20 and March 6; in 2031, it is February 15 and March 1. In 2035, it is February 17 and March 3; in 2039, it is February 19 and March 5 and in 2043, it will hold on February 21 and March 7. In 2047, it is February 15 and March 2; in 2051, it is February 18 and March 1; in 2055, it is February 20 and March 6.a�?
Yakubu argued that in other climes, periods and dates of elections are well known by the citizens, adding that it is never an issue for speculations.
He said that the arrangement gives room for proper and long-term planning to both the commission and stakeholders..
The INEC boss revealed that commission has continued to receive requests from associations to be registered as political parties, adding that about 108 applications are being processed by the Commission.
Yakubu said that 66 of the applications did not meet the initial requirements, while 33 passed and had proceeded to the next stage, with nine being at the final stage of registration.
Yakubu, who expressed concern on the continuous breach constitutional requirements guiding the registration as political parties, challenged the parties to ensure that they set up their national headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), warning that the commission will not hesitate to punish any political party that fails to fulfil the requirements for registration.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Mohamed Lawal Nalado, of the Accord Party (AP), challenged INEC to take bold steps at unravelling the claims of underage voting in the recent local government elections in Kano and Katsina States.
By Ezeocha Nzeh