By Yomi Kareem
As against its earlier position not to extend the timeline for the conduct of political parties’ primaries, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has given political parties that are yet to conduct their primaries six days window to do the needful.
In a statement today by Barr. Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee Chairman, after a meeting with political parties, said earlier the political parties had requested for 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates.
Adding that, based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the parties have now pleaded with the Commission to use the 6-day period between 4th and 9th June 2022 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.
Okoye in his words said; “The Commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period. The idea is to simply give parties time to compile the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates before uploading same to the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal from 10th – 17th June 2022.
“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. 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.”
The Commission urged Political parties to ensure that their primaries are free of rancour in order to meet the timelines for the remaining activities embodied in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.