INEC yields, extends primaries deadline

O. Adejo

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for political parties to conduct their primaries for the 2023 general elections.

This was made known to the public in a statement by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Friday in Abuja.

This announcement was made hours after the leaders of the various political parties met with the leadership of INEC, led by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

During the meeting, party leaders and representatives under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) appealed to INEC to adjust the timetable for the forthcoming polls.

The Chairman of IPAC, Sani Yabagi of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), said that adjusting the timetable of the election was necessary because the current timetable was too tight for the political parties.

According to Okoye, INEC was emphatic that the 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the timetable.

Furthermore, he stated that the parties later pleaded with the commission to use the six-day period between June 4th and 9th to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates on the INEC candidate nomination portal.

“The commission has decided to allow the request of the political parties since the six-day period does not conflict with the next scheduled activity which is the submission of the list of nominated candidates or any of the subsequent timelines which remain sacrosanct,” he said.

“However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.”

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