BY FATIMA MUSTAPHA ALI, MAY 11, 2022 | 01:56 PM
Eighteen registered political parties under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council has appealed to the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the deadline of primary elections by 37 days.
Yabagi Sani, IPAC chairman, made the call in Abuja on Tuesday during an interactive session between political parties and the commission.
The council argued that the June 3 deadline given by the commission is not feasible because of upcoming events that the country will be facing.
He explained that during that time there will be a break for Eid al-Adha, the forthcoming Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections and screening of an unprecedented large number of aspirants, among others.
He noted that these upcoming events can hamper timely and strict compliance with the primary election timetable, Guardian Newspaper quoted him as saying.
In his response, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the commission insisted that the deadline stands.
He reminded the political parties of the necessity for strict compliance with timelines for the primaries.
He said extension is not feasible because there are many inter-related activities that are associated with the timelines, which must be carried out.
According to him, an extension will affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the commission.
'This will ultimately result in more complications than what the extension seeks to achieve. 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 February 25 and March 11, 2023,’ Prof. Mahmood told Guardian Newspaper.
He urged parties to encourage participation by giving opportunities to underrepresented areas.
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