Nigeria fixes date for next presidential election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the date of Nigeria’s next general elections.

The presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on 16 February 2019, INEC said on its official Twitter account on Thursday.

The date will mark the end of ailing President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term. He has not said if he will run again.

Buhari came to power in 2015, promising to crack down on endemic corruption, rid the country of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the northeast and kickstart a flagging economy.

Critics say his presidency has been marred by inertia and little progress has been made on those key policies.

Buhari has been absent for much of 2017 because of an undisclosed medical problem, which calls into question whether he will stand next year. It also creates uncertainty for his All Progressives Congress party that was created to elect him.

A presidency spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Buhari’s plans.

INEC has also announced that the gubernatorial and state assembly elections and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) council elections will hold on 2 March 2019.

The electoral body said the timetable and schedule of activities for the Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections, which will hold in 2018, will be released on 5 October.

Kola Tella

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