The count down to the 2019 general elections has begun and with 548 days to the elections, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has assured Nigerians that the Commission will do everything possible to ensure that the polls are conducted in a free, fair and credible exercise with remarkable improvement.
Yakubu disclosed this development at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday while swearing in nine new Resident Electoral Commissioners.
He noted that from the outcome of recent elections conducted by INEC, it was clear that votes now count and will continue to be the sole determinant of the outcome of elections.
He assured that INEC shall continue to uphold the sanctity of citizens’ choice as the only basis for determining elective representation in Nigeria.
The Chairman also said that a new political party, the African People’s Party (APP) has been registered by INEC in obedient of a court order, thus bringing to 46, the number of parties in the country. This is even as the INEC
Chairman revealed that a total of 2, 092,434 citizens have been registered by the Commission so far under the ongoing voters registration exercise in the country.
The INEC Chairman said, “the Commission has, by order of court, yesterday (Tuesday) issued Certificate of Registration to the African People’s Party (APP) which originally applied for registration as a political party three years ago in 2014.
With this development, the number of political parties in Nigeria now stands at 46, he said.
Speaking on the number of citizens registered so far by INEC, the Chairman said; “At the end of the first quarter of the exercise, some 1,810,153 citizens were registered.
The exercise is now in the second week of the second quarter and already some 282,281 citizens have been registered, making a total of 2,092,434 new registrants so far”.
Yakubu also urged the Resident Electoral Commissioners on the need to prepare for the task ahead, saying that, “I wish draw your attention to the task ahead. As you are already aware, the Commission has fixed the date for the next General Elections.
“The Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday 16th February 2019 while Governorship, State Assembly and Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will hold two weeks later on Saturday 2nd March 2019.
“It means that from today, (Wednesday) we have exactly 548 days to the General Elections. It is important to always remind yourselves of this date and to be tracking and appraising our preparations. “ You are therefore coming at a very auspicious time. I wish to reiterate our commitment to Nigerians that the 2019 General Elections will be a remarkable improvement on the acclaimed success of the last General Elections