Nigeria to hold general elections in February 2019

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday announced that presidential and national assembly elections will be held on 16 February, 2019.

INEC National Chairman Mahamood Yakubu, who released the time table for the general elections, formally giving a nod for the commencement of political activities, told journalists in Abuja that governorship and state assembly elections will be held on 2 March 2019.

Primaries for presidential and National Assembly elections are set to commence on 18 August this year, to be followed by formal campaigns from 18 November.

Campaigns for the governorship and state assemblies are scheduled to commence on 1 December 2018.

Prof. Yakubu said, as political parties and candidates canvass the support of the electorate, the Commission, all and sundry should eschew bitterness and conduct their activities with decorum.

He said the 2015 General Election was a watershed in the history of Nigeria’s democracy and the Commission was determined to build on this legacy by ensuring that the counytry’s elections keep getting better.

“In a clear departure from past practice when dates were announced close to elections, the Commission decided that henceforth our Presidential and National Assembly elections will be held on the third Saturday of the month of February of each election year, while Governorship and State Assembly elections will be held two weeks later. By these decisions, the Commission fixed Saturday 16th February 2019 as the date for Presidential and National Assembly elections while Govenorship and State Assembly elections will be held on Saturday 2nd March 2019.”

Professor Yakubu stated that the decision of the Commission to fix election dates is to engender certainty in the nation’s electoral calendar and to enable all stakeholders to prepare adequately for elections, as is the case in many mature and developing democracies.