It is the year that had been the issue of politics in Nigeria for the past four years. The year, 2015 is finally here

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor

With democracy taking firm roots in the country and the four year cycle of elections becoming a culture, political stakeholders had in the past four years approached the year, 2015 with calculated steps in the hope of correctly positioning themselves and interests for ascendancy.

Indeed, appointment of ministers by the president and commissioners by state governors had largely been dictated by political considerations of 2015.

In some states, commissioners appointed by powerbrokers opposed to the incumbent governor’s exit or re-election plans have been booted out.

The year is saturated with political activities, the climax of which is undoubtedly the presidential election due on February 14.

Significant milestones preceding and following the elections equally bear significance for the polity.

 13th January: Last day for change of names for governorship and House of Assembly candidates

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and Nigerian Vice President Namadi Sambo greet supporters at a ceremony in Abuja on November 11, 2014. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on November 11 declared his bid for re-election, vowing to finally defeat Boko Haram whose rise in strength during his first term has threatened the country's sovereignty. The 56-year-old made the announcement to tens of thousands of supporters in the red, white and green of his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at a carefully orchestrated ceremony including patriotic music, dancing, prayers and speeches. AFP PHOTO
Jonathan: I have unfinished business

on this day, all permutations as to who is candidate or not of the major political parties would be decided.

As the year opens today, there are still contending issues as to the genuine candidates in states like ogun and imo where different factions of the party are laying claim to the ticket of the peoples democratic party, pdp.

especially of interest is the governorship ticket in ogun where former speaker dimeji bankole and gboyega isiaka are laying claim to the ticket of the pdp.

also of interest is the contention for the ogun east senate ticket which former governor gbenga daniel and party chieftain, kashamu buruji are disputing.

on this day, governorship candidates who had pushed forward dummies as running mates would finally be exposed.

Eyes would be on the labour party governorship candidate in delta, chief great ogboru and the all progressives congress, apc, governorship candidate, chief otega emerhor, both of whom reportedly had to push in dummies as running mates when submitting their forms.

13th January publication of official register of voters

on this day, the independent national electoral commission, inec, would be expected to officially publish the register of voters eligible to vote in the election.

it would be anxiety time for a number of the candidates if their names are not found on the voters’ roll as that could be a legal issue for them entering into the election.

it would be recalled that the candidate of the pdp in the last anambra State governorship election, comrade tony nwoye could not find his name on the voters register.

13th January: Publication of list of nominated candidates for presidential and National Assembly

it would be the moment of truth for presidential and National Assembly candidates on this day. Candidates whose names are not published in their constituencies would inadvertently be ruled out from participating in the election.

13th January: National Assembly resumption.

Buhari: Our situation must change!
Buhari: Our situation must change!

The two chambers of the National Assembly resume into a lame duck period. Regrettably, while the eyes of political and finance stakeholders would be fixated on the National Assembly, little is expected to come out of the legislature as many of the legislators would be involved in the politics of re-election where they are not seeking higher offices.

Crucial issues facing the legislature include the passage of the 2015 Appropriation Bill and crucial bills including the Petroleum Industry Bill, pib.

Resumption of the legislature

The 2015 budget which is expected to receive extensive remake in the face of dwindling oil price may remain hanging until after the presidential election which is not due until one month after the resumption of the legislature.

The House of Representatives would also be faced with the Tambuwal question as the presidency and key supporters of the president face the embarrassment of dealing with a House in the firm grip of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.

If the House treats the budget immediately, eyes would be on the Inspector General of Police, Sulieman Abba coming to defend his budget in a session before lawmakers appointed by Tambuwal who he, Abba claims not to recognise as Speaker.

27th January: Publication of list of nominated candidates for governorship/House of Assembly.

inec is expected on this day to publish the list of nominated candidates for the governorship and houses of assembly. It is the end of the road for any governorship or house of assembly aspirant whose name is not listed by inec.

28th January publication of notice of poll.

inec is expected to give formal notice of all the elections including the presidential, National Assembly, governorship and House of Assembly. The notice would be given on the same day.

29th January submission of names of party agents for presidential candidates.

All political parties are expected to forward the names of their polling agents for the elections to inec by this date.

Unlike the past where only the once dominant pdp submitted names throughout the country, the pdp would be matched in every polling booth by the apc.

7th February

National assembly goes on election break

Tinubu: The pathfinder for the opposition
Tinubu: The pathfinder for the opposition

The two chambers of the National Assembly are expected to go on election break on February 7, that is where members have not on their own already gone.

Impending exit

Just before this date, it is expected that the two chambers would be having difficulties forming quorum for sitting. However, the practise is that issues of quorum are overlooked especially as members who are not involved in campaigning strive to remain in the limelight ahead of their impending exit from the legislature.

12th february

submission of names of party agents for governorship/state house of assembly.

on this date, parties are expected to submit the names of their agents for the governorship and state houses of assembly election.

 12th february

last day for campaigning for presidential elections.

It is the last day for campaigns for the presidential election which is due the day after.

Newspaper and broadcast advertisements would not be allowed. Attempts by politicians to place advertisements in the name of their rivals would be expected but most newspaper publishing houses and broadcasters normally see through such deceits and block them.

14th February: Presidential election.

On the day that is tinged by romance all over the world being celebrated as St. Valentine’s day, Nigerians go to the polls to elect a new president. It is the most crucial decision facing Nigerians in the year.

Mu'azu: PDP's game changer
Mu’azu: PDP’s game changer

15th/16th February:

Nigerians would be compiling results and it is expected that the result should be out latest a day after. In advanced democracies, concession speech is made by the loser before the winner proceeds to make a victory speech. But such is not expected in these shores.

14th February presidential run-off

  • 26th February

Last day for campaigns for governorship/House of Assembly.

It is the last day for campaigns for governorship and houses of assembly across the country.

Election adverts are not expected to be produced after this day.

28th February governorship election

Voters go to elect governors in 30 states and legislators for all 36 state Houses of Assembly in the country.

Results are expected to start trickling in by the night or latest by the following morning. it is expected that whoever won the presidential election may also pull his party along in the state level elections.

March 7th: National Assembly resumes from election break

The National Assembly is expected to resume after the election break.

The outcome of the election and how it is taken by different stakeholders could decide how the National Assembly forges ahead to carry out outstanding issues.

Among pending issues at this time may be the budget, the investigations into the alleged N10 billion expenditure on hiring a private jet by the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, the pib among others.

The legislators will take another break for the Easter Holidays and sit until June 5th when the life of the 7th National Assembly is expected to come to an end.

May 29: PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION!

 

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.