There are strong indications that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), may have started playing a strange script since the Senate passed a new election sequence.
The latest election sequence as adopted by the National Assembly (NASS) shows that whereas previous election usually starts with presidential elections, the new rule means that all general elections will end with presidential elections.
However, the first official response of the INEC boss, Prof. Mamood Yakubu was that the 2019 election timetable as recently released remained sacrosanct, an indication of opposition to the stand of the lawmakers.
Though experts say INEC’s position may not be wrong considering the fact that the new Bill as passed had not been assented by the President.
Whereas there are signals that President Muhammadu Buhari may not easily assent to the law, body language of the Senate shows that the upper chamber is very much ready to sign the Bill into law after the expiration of the constitutional 90 days, thus stamping the integrity of the new sequence which will be used at the 2019 elections.
However, as if the initial comment that the timetable remains, Prof Yakubu has went ahead to plot a 36 year election timetable with all beginning with Presidential election, a total negation of the new stand of the Senate.
Business Hilights gathered on Wednesday that INEC announced dates for general elections in the country for the next 36 years, starting from 2019 to 2055.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mamood Yakubu, made the announcement at a consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja.
He said “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,” Yakubu said.
He anchored his defence around the fact that in other democracies of the world, periods of elections are generally known and are not topics for speculation, saying the aim was to engender certainty in the election calendar and also to allow for long-term planning by the commission and all stakeholders.