Political parties and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have continued to express divergent views on the 2019 general elections timetable released by INEC.
The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) said the development was an unprecedented action by the commission which typifies strategic planning.
Executive Director of YIAGA, Samson Itodo, told Daily Trust that the release was an indication that Nigeria has 23 months to plan for the 2019 elections.
“Other stakeholders will be forced to also plan ahead and this will not heat up the polity,” he said.
Also, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), through its Director, Idayat Hassan, said the decision was apt.
“However, my main concern is the refusal of the president to appoint resident electoral commissioners (RECs). There are 33 states without RECs. It is this lack of appointment that will challenge proper planning. Election is a process and not one day event,” she said.
The Election Monitor (EM) said that INEC’s release of the 2019 election timetable was to forestall the errors of the 2015 elections and therefore commendable.
The Coordinator of the organization, Mr. Abiodun Ajijola, recalled that the 2015 elections timetable was released on the 24th January 2014, which was just over a year to the general elections and that the elections were postponed by six weeks due to security concerns.
“The meaning of all this is that despite a year notice for the 2015 general elections, there were still some challenges with the original date. Fixing the date two years in advance is very critical for planning,” he said.
“In fact, even the political parties can plan more effectively now and it will make everyone involved to sit up. In some countries, the next general elections date is known immediately after the previous elections. For example, the next presidential election in the United States will hold on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2020. The date is known four years in advance,” he said.