As campaigns for the 2019 general elections kick off, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, has met with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At the parley yesterday in Abuja, Yakubu expressed delight over the political parties and their candidates’ focus on national issues in their campaigns.
The INEC officials reviewed the recent display of voter register across the country and promised to release the report next week.
LEADERSHIP reports that the voter register was displayed in all the polling units nationwide for claims and objections by residents.
Yakubu said that the RECs would report on the outcome of the display of voter register in their various states, adding that the report would be shared with the general public next week.
Yakubu, who could not hide his feelings about the issue-based campaigns embarked upon by political parties and their candidates during his meeting with the RECs, hoped that it would be sustained.
Campaigns for the 2019 election officially commenced on Sunday, November 18, 2018 as provided for by the Electoral Act and in line with the timetable and schedule of activities.
Yakubu said: “We are committed to closely monitoring the campaigns in pursuant of our statutory mandate and to ensure compliance with the extant laws and regulations.”
“We are pleased that the focus in the last few days since the commencement of the campaigns has been on policies rather than personalities,” Yakubu said, hoping that the campaigns remain that way.
Yakubu formally announced the death of five INEC members of staff in Kogi and Edo states on road accidents last week, adding that two officials survived road accidents in Katsina State during the bye-election while one election duty staff suffered a head injury following attack by hoodlums who destroyed election materials at a polling unit in Kwara State.
On the voter register, Yakubu said that the clean-up of the voter register is the foundation for the conduct of credible elections, adding that as required by law and In line with the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections, the commission fulfilled that obligation by displaying the register in all polling units nationwide for claims and objections by the citizens.
He said that political parties have concluded their primaries and made nominations of candidates for various elective positions.
“Submission of nominations for presidential and National Assembly elections ended on 18th October 2018 while the date for substitution and withdrawal of candidates was 17th November, 2018. Both activities are now concluded. For governorship and state Assembly elections, the submission of nomination forms closed on 2nd November, 2018 while the last day for substitution and withdrawal of candidates is 1th December, 2018,” Yakubu said.
The INEC chairman also said that area council elections in the FCT would be held on 2nd March, 2019 along with the governorship and state assembly elections.