Tentative dates for Nigeria’s presidential and legislative elections next year have been announced by the Independent Electoral Commission in Nigeria.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu, released the time table for the 2011 general elections in Abuja on Tuesday.
The provisional time table and schedule of activities for the 2011 general elections were released at a stakeholders’ conference.
According to the schedule, the presidential election will take place on 23 April, 2011 while the governorship and state houses of Assembly polls will take place on 16 April, 2011.
The National Assembly election comes up on 9 April, 2011.
If the general election is to be conducted in April next year, the breakdown in the time table indicates that review of voters’ register will commence from 26 April to 30 July, 2010.
Conduct of party primaries by registered political parties is scheduled to commence from 2 August to 30 October 2010 to enable political parties to democratically nominate candidates for the elections as required by Section 85 of the Electoral Act.
The issuance of notice of election by INEC is scheduled for 1 November, 2010 in line with Section 31 (1) of the Electoral Act which makes provision for the issuance of notice of election not later than 150 days before the election.
Collection of forms (Forms CFO01 and CF 002) is scheduled to commence from 20 November 2010 till 8 December 2010.
Consequently, the deadline for the submission of the form to the national headquarters of INEC is as follows: For the National Assembly Elections, the deadline is 7 December, 2010 while for governorship and state assembly elections, 14 December, 2010 is the deadline. For the Presidential election, the deadline is 21 December, 2010.
The display of voters’ register for the purposes of claims and objection has been fixed for 28 December, 2010 to 11 January, 2011, while public campaigns by the political parties is to start on 8 January, 2011.
The last day for withdrawal by candidates has been fixed as follows:
For National Assembly election, 28 January, 2011; governorship and state assembly elections, 4 February, 2011; and presidential election, 18 February 2011.
However, if the general election is to take place in January 2011, the schedule of activities indicate that the review of voters’ register remains the same while the conduct of parties’ primaries is to take place from 2 May and 31 July, 2010 while the issuance of notice of election will take place on 2 August 2010.
Collection of forms begins from 23 August 2010 till 14 September, 2010. The deadline for the submission of the forms at INEC headquarters is as follows: for National Assembly election, 20 September, 2010; governorship and states assembly elections, 27 September, 2010, while presidential election is 4 October, 2010.
The collection of nomination form commences on 2 November 2010 while the publication of list of nominated candidates as provided for in section 35 of the Electoral Act will take place on 7 December, 14 December and 21 December 2010 for National Assembly election, governorship and state assembly election and the presidential election respectively.
Consequently, the dates for the election have been fixed as follows: National Assembly election, 8 January 2011; governorship and state assembly election, 16 January, 2011 while the presidential election will hold on 22 January
President Umaru Yar’Adua in May sent to the parliament for approval seven bills aimed at revamping the electoral process ahead of the polls. The proposed legislation follows recommendations by an electoral-reform committee headed by former Chief Justice Muhammad Uwais.
One of the committee’s recommendations was for an impartial body to appoint the head of the INEC instead of the president making the selection, as is currently the case, a suggestion Yar’Adua rejected.
The refusal by the presidency to act on the submitted electoral reform recommendation however has sent jitters across the world with Tuesday’s announcement which had been viewed with high level of pessimism.
“We face uncertainty as the Presidency load the nation with lies lies land lies. How can we trust in their plans?”, asked a concerned Nigerian , Innocent Mbanefo yesterday while responding to questions from EMNnews.com. The nation is being fooled and nobody is inclined to trust in whatever the government or their representatives are saying as people are fed up of fix-it elections in Nigeria, the aggrieved Nigerian said. Many Nigerians are expressing their reservations across the world as efforts are being made to lure Nigerians in the Diaspora to part-take in future elections in Nigeria.