Inec refuses request from political parties to alter its primary elections timetable

NIGERIA'S Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) has rejected the recent request by the country's 18 registered political parties that it reschedule its election timetable and give them more time to conduct their primaries.


Yesterday, the political parties including the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), asked Inec to shift its June primaries deadline. Under its strict election timetable, Inec has given all the parties until June 3 to conclude all their primaries for next year's elections.


Engineer Yabagi Sani, the chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (Ipac), presented the request on Tuesday, at a meeting between the parties and Inec. Before Engineer Sani’s presentation, Inec's chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu had in his opening remarks said the June 3 deadline for the conduct of primaries remained sacrosanct.


Engineer Sani called for a 37-day extension and suggested August 4 as the deadline. He listed the constraints which made the June 3 deadline unrealistic and unattainable, including as Ramadan, Lent, the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states and the number of aspirants seeking elective offices, which he noted has made screening processes cumbersome.