The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the reason why the 2023 general elections were shifted and a new date fixed.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections which had earlier been slated for February 18, 2023, have now been shifted to February 25, 2023.
In a statement released on saturday by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in a media briefing in Abuja, INEC stated that the late signing of the Electoral Amendment Bill into law by President Buhari is responsible for the shift in the date of the elections. It would be noted that the President only signed the electoral bill into law on Friday 25, 2022.
During the media briefing, INEC announced that the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections would take place on 25th of February, 2023 while governorship and state house of assembly polls would take place on March 11, 2023.
Prof Yakubu noted that the extension was to comply with the 360 days notice of election provided in the newly signed Electoral Act.
In his statement:
“Therefore, the Electoral Act 2022, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), form the legal basis for conducting all elections in Nigeria.
In particular, the Electoral Act provides strict timelines for implementing electoral activities based on the date of the General Election.
“One of the significant timelines is the publication of Notice of Election not later than 360 days before the day appointed for holding an election which has now lapsed for the 2023 General Election.”
The INEC chairman continued, adding that the commission had come to conclusion to adjust the dates of the 2023 general elections so as to ensure compliance with the new law provided. He said:
“Accordingly, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on Saturday February 25 2023 while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will hold two weeks later on Saturday March 11 2023. With this adjustment, the 2023 General Election is now 363 days away.”
The commission called an extraordinary meeting where they decided the new elections’ dates after President Buhari announced on Friday the signing of the 2022 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
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