The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has started the countdown to the 2019 general elections. The INEC chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, made this announcement.
According to him, the presidential and National Assembly elections have been fixed for Saturday, February 16, 2019, while the governorship/state assembly and federal capital territory area council elections will hold on Saturday, March 2, 2019.
The continuous voter’s registration (CVR) is still ongoing and so far INEC has been able to register about 2,786,405 Nigerians.
According to NOI’s election poll there was a high level of participation willingness prior to the 2015 elections, however, figures from INEC on the actual participation revealed a gap in the number of registered (67,422,005) and accredited voters (31,746,490) as well as the number of votes cast (29,432,083) during the 2015 presidential elections.
Here are a list of things Nigerians must do before the 2019 elections:
1. Get registered
CVR is an exercise meant for the registration of citizens who turned 18 years of age after the last registration exercise; or those who for one reason or another could not register in the previous exercises.
The 2010 electoral act (as amended) mandates the commission to carry out CVR nationwide and to make available to every political party within 60 days. After each year, the names of the addresses of each person registered during that year.
In pursuance of this requirement, the commission has developed the modality for the conduct of the CVR exercise nationwide.
The date for the commencement for the CVR exercise is Thursday, 27th April, 2017 at the INEC Local Government offices nationwide and remains continuous all year round.
2. Voters card
Temporary Voters Card (TVCs) will be issued to registrants at the point of registration, while the PVCs of those registered in Quarter 1 (Q1) should be ready for collection in Quarter 3 (Q3), and Quarter 2 (Q2) will be ready in Quarter 4 (Q4).
The last week of each quarter will be for display, hearing the claims and objections and housekeeping, such as data backup, consolidation, reporting.
In Nigeria, the constitution stipulates that elections should be held not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days to the end of the incumbent’s tenure. Professor Yakubu Mahmood, decided to fix the date for national elections every third Saturday in February of an election year and state elections two weeks afterward.
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Meanwhile, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra state has alleged that two lorries full of sensitive election materials belonging to the INEC were found in a hotel in the state, 12 days to the Anambra gubernatorial election.
National chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Oye, who raised the alarm at a press briefing at Amawbia in Awka South local government area said security agencies in the state intercepted the materials and that two persons had been arrested in connection with the incident.
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