The Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission, prof. Mahmood Yakubu has reiterated the commission’s position on the established timelines and schedule of activities for the party’s primaries ahead of the 2023 general election.

Mahmood gave the hint at the second regular quarterly meeting with political parties held at the INEC headquarters in Abuja. 

He said the commission is not willing to review the timelines, hence there are so many inter-related activities that are associated with the timelines which must be carried out.

The INEC umpire added that any review to extend the timeline for one activity will affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the Commission, thus complicating the entire process.

He further charged party leaders to ensure compliance rather than seeking for extension of timelines to achieve transparent and Democratic primaries in the country.

“Twice in the last two weeks, the Commission had cause to remind political parties of the necessity for strict compliance with the timelines for party primaries. Therefore, the Commission will not review the timelines. Working together, we should ensure fidelity to the timelines in conducting transparent and Democratic primaries for the purpose of electing candidates for the 1,491 constituencies for which elections will be held on 25th February and 11th March 2023.

In the spirit of working together to comply with the requirements of the law, the Commission has prepared a document to guide political parties in the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates for election, including a checklist of the documentation required for a successful nomination.

Similarly, the Commission has prepared a calendar of party primaries for presidential, governorship, national and state assembly seats based on the proposals submitted by political parties as of Friday 6th May 2022.”

Also speaking, the INEC chairman calls for inclusivity in the conduct of party primaries to enable greater presentation for the 2023 general election.

“As you conduct your primaries and nominate candidates for elections, this is the appropriate time to remind you of your commitment to promoting inclusivity in the electoral process. Women, Youths, and Persons with Disability (PWDs) have been yearning for greater representation, particularly in elective positions. To assure citizens that you are not paying lip service to this commitment, political parties should encourage greater involvement of all under-represented segments of the society as candidates for elections. This is the only way we can change the reality of the increasingly low level of representation of these critical segments of the society in legislative assemblies in particular and the governance of our country in general.”

On his part, the National Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Engineer Yusuf Sani, noted that after close examination of the electoral timetable and activities it will be proper for them to demand an extension of thirty-seven (37) days to the INEC deadline of 3rd June 2022 to 4th August 2022 to enable her to resolve all conflicts emanating from party primaries, while pledging IPAC unwavering support to INEC towards deepening democracy in Nigeria.

“All the eighteen registered political parties are requesting a slight adjustment to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections to further enhance the efficiency of the electoral process.

“The Christian Lenten season and the Muslim fasting In the month of Ramadan respectively followed by the celebrations of Easter and Eid El Fitr, (Sallah), in which majority of party members were involved necessitate the call for extension in the timeframe of the present INEC timetable and schedule of activities.”

With the Ekiti State Governorship election holding on Saturday 18th June 2022, the Commission, therefore, invites political parties to inspect samples of materials on Wednesday 18th May 2022 at the Commission’s Conference Room in Abuja at 11.00 am as enshrined in Section 42 of the Electoral Act 2022.

 

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