The Independent National Electoral Commission has released the timetable for the 2015 elections.
The commission, in a statement issued in Abuja late Friday night, fixed the Presidential and National Assembly elections for February 14, 2015.
The statement was signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu.
The commission also fixed state assembly and governorship elections for February 28 same year.
The statement added that the governorship election in Ekiti State would hold on June 21, 2014 while that of Osun State would hold on August 9, 2014.
Ogakwu said the timetable was released after the retreat of the commission in Kaduna, which she said, was held between Tuesday and Friday.
She said the release was done in pursuant of the powers conferred on the commission by the constitution and the Electoral Act (2010) as amended.
The statement was however silent on when politicians could declare their interest in contesting for any of the offices.
The Electoral Act 2010, Section 31 (1) states that, “Every political party shall not later than 60 days before the date appointed for the general election under the provisions of this Act, submit to the Commission in the prescribed forms list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.”
Reacting to the development on Friday, the Peoples Democratic Party said that it was ready for the elections.
The ruling party also said it was sure of winning the Presidential election, adding that it would also win more states in the governorship election to increase the number of states under its control from the present 18.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this while speaking with one of our correspondents on the telephone on Friday night.
Metuh said though he was not sure if the opposition party would be ready for the election, he noted that he would not be surprised if the All Progressives Congress directs its members to boycott the elections.
He said, “We are ready for the elections as shown by the timetable released by the commission. We are sure of winning the Presidential election and I can also tell you that we are going to win more states.
“I’m not sure whether the opposition will not ask its members to boycott the elections because they know that they are going to lose. But as for us, we are sure of winning more states and more seats at both the National Assembly and Houses of Assembly.”
But, the Labour Party said that it was still studying the timetable.
The National Chairman of the party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, who stated this in a telephone interview with our correspondent, however, expressed surprise at the sequence of the election.
He also expressed surprise at the plan to hold presidential election before the governorship election. He said, “ We would study it(the timetable). It is good that the commission released the timetable on time. We are going to look at it and discuss it.
“But are you sure that the presidential election will hold before the governorship election? That is not good enough.”
Also reacting, the Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Osun State chapter, Mr. Adelowo Adebiyi, described the announcement of the timetable as a welcome development, stressing that the party was confident of victory.
He said, “I wish that all things like voter’s register, movement of personnel and logistic would be got right because we don’t want a repeat of what happened in Anambra State.
“We are ready for the polls; we have mobilised and enlightened our people. By the grace of God, we are winning.”
His Peoples Democratic Party counterpart, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, said, “Now, the days of the Osun APC in government are numbered. We are happy that we can at last begin the countdown to our legitimate return to power.
“The PDP is winning the election resoundingly because the APC has betrayed the expectations of the masses. Go to all the nooks and crannies of Osun State, you will see that the people are earnestly desirous of PDP’s return.”
On his part, the Osun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Sunday Akere, said: “Everyday for us is like election day; this is why we have always been working round the clock daily, breaking new grounds for our people, expanding the frontiers of development and restoring hope.
“We are always prepared, ever ready and the people are happy with our government. One good term, deserves another. We have confidence and trust in God that the people will return Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for second term.”
Also, Spokesperson of the APC in the South-West, Chief Ayo Afolabi, said the “overwhelming achievements of Aregbesola will ensure the re-election of the APC in Osun,” adding that “Osun people will show their appreciation for the landmark infrastructural development of Osun through massive votes.”
A former spokesperson of the PDP in the South-West, Taiwo Akeju, said, “The people are yearning for PDP’s return in Osun. Even if the election is tomorrow, we are prepared and ready. There was no crisis in Osun schools when we were in power. Indeed, we established the Osun State University, which has remained an enduring legacy.”
Also, the Chief Press Secretary to Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said, the governor and Ekiti APC were fully prepared for the election.
Oyebode said, “The election is going to determine whether the state is going to move forward or backward; we know that the people of the state desire forward movement and that they appreciate the immense contributions of the governor to the development of the state.
“We urge INEC to do everything needed to ensure a free, fair and credible election. We want to also appeal to the people of the state to remain as peaceful as they have always been and to cast their votes wisely.
“The state government is going to ensure that the election holds in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. We have done a lot to restore public confidence in government. It is going to be a victorius outing by the grace of God.”
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the PDP in Ekiti State, Chief Dayo Adeyeye, predicted the victory of Ekiti PDP in the forthcoming election, saying, “we need to liberate the state from the plundering APC.
“I’m personally very prepared. The party is united and has agreed that whosoever is picked as candidate will be supported by all the other aspirants.”
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