The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has restated that it will not extend the timelines for party primaries beyond June 3rd 2022.

Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu reaffirmed it’s stance at the second quarterly meeting with political parties at the INEC headquarters, Abuja.

Yakubu said that reviewing or extension of the timeline for primaries will affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the Commission, noting that there are so many inter-related activities that are associated with the timelines which must be carried out.

He added that such review to the already scheduled timeline will result in more complications than what the extension seeks to achieve.

“Already, all 18 political parties have forwarded the schedules of their primaries to the Commission, and some have commenced the process of choosing their candidates by conducting Ward and Local Government congresses. The period earmarked for the conduct of primaries by political parties commenced on 4th April 2022 and will end 24 days from today i.e. 3rd June 2022.

“Twice in the last two weeks, the Commission had cause to remind political parties of the necessity for strict compliance with the truth timelines for party primaries. I hereby reiterate the position of the Commission that there will be no review of the timelines” The Chairman said.

Yakubu therefore urged all political parties to ensure fidelity to the timelines in conducting transparent and democratic primaries ahead of 2023 elections.

He revealed that the Commission has prepared a document to guide political parties in the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates for election,
and also prepared a calendar of party primaries for presidential, governorship, national and state assembly seats based on the proposals submitted by political parties as at Friday 6th May 2022.

Meanwhile the INEC Chairman also charged all political parties to promote inclusivity.

“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 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” he said.

The INEC Boss further urged all political parties to ensure a transparent electioneering process devoid of acrimony and rancour during their primaries, stressing that this would promote fidelity to internal democracy.

For his part, the National Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Engineer Yusuf Sani, said the General Assembly of IPAC, arrived at a unanimous decision to request for an extension of thirty-seven days to the deadline of the time frame for the conduct of party primaries and resolution of conflicts arising from the primaries.

The IPAC Chairman said, all the political parties made the request for the slight alteration in the timetable to enhance the efficiency of the electoral process.

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