The Senate has expressed its support for the early release of time-table for the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Ali Ndume, made it known to journalists on Tuesday.
INEC’s National Commissioner for South West, Mr. Solomon Soyebi, had, last week, announced February 16, 2019, as the date for the next Presidential and National Assembly elections in the country.
He also said the commission had fixed the Governorship, State Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections for Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Soyebi explained that fixing of the dates was part of efforts by INEC to standardise and ensure certainty of time-table for general elections in the country.
Ndume, in his reaction to the announcement, said the commission was doing the right thing by setting out target for elections. He said the move would help the electoral umpire to start its preparation for the polls early.
He said, “When I took over as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, I personally encouraged INEC to start preparing for the 2019 now. When I looked at the budget of INEC, I discovered that there was no provisions for the 2019 elections. I advised them to make provisions for the 2019 election so that such items that are not sensitive and not perishable can be procured in time.
“It is not good for us to wait until a day or two to the election then we start running helter-skelter for the materials such as the data capture machine or other thing that should be in place.
“I personally believe that this INEC wants to improve on what has been done before and all encouragement and support should be given to them. So, let’s give them a chance.”