Home News 2023: INEC reiterates position on review of timelines

2023: INEC reiterates position on review of timelines


By Princess-Ekwi Ajide , Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has reiterated its stance against reviewing the timeline for party primaries saying there are so many inter-related activities that are associated with the timelines which must be carried out. Any review to extend the timeline for one activity will affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the Commission.

Speaking at the second quarterly consultative meeting with political parties, the Chairman, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said 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.

He maintained that the period earmarked for the conduct of primaries by political parties commenced on 4th April 2022 and will end on 3rd June 2022 hence the Commission had deemed it necessary to remind political parties of the necessity for strict compliance with the timelines for party primaries.

The INEC boss, opined that working together, they would 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.

He noted that in the spirit of working together to comply with the requirements of 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 and 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.

He remind parties leaders of their commitment to promoting inclusivity in the electoral process as women, youths and Persons with Disability (PWDs) have been yearning for greater representation, particularly in elective positions adding that to assure citizens they are not paying lip service to the 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.

Professor Yakubu urged them to ensure a transparent electioneering process devoid of acrimony and rancour as they prepare for the primaries so as to limit the number of litigations by aggrieved party members challenging the conduct of party primaries which may exceed the 807 pre-election Court cases on the 2019 General Election where the Commission was joined by litigants.

He also cautioned them to be wary of the security situation in the country and not wittingly or unwittingly compound the situation by the disruptive behaviour of their members and supporters during party primaries and general elections promising that they will continue to work with political parties as critical stakeholders in the best interest of the country.

Responding, the National Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Engineer Yusuf Sani, said the General Assembly of IPAC, after an exhaustive examination of the INEC timetable and related issues, arrived at a unanimous decision to request for an extension of thirty-seven (37) days to the deadline of the time frame for the conduct of party primaries and resolution of conflicts arising from the primaries which means moving the INEC given date of 3rd June, 2022 to 4th August 2022

While reassuring that IPAC will remain unwavering and faithful to INEC towards the actualization of the shared statutory and historic responsibility of deepening the roots of democracy in Nigeria, the IPAC Chairman said, all the eighteen registered political parties are requesting the slight adjustment to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections to further enhance the efficiency of the electoral process.

He counted 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 as some of the issues considered by the IPAC General Assembly which necessitated the call for extension in the timeframe of the present INEC timetable and schedule of activities.


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