The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has bowed to pressure by extending the period for conduct of party primaries by political parties by six days. The commission had given political parties June 3 to conclude their primaries, but after a meeting with leadership of political parties on Friday, INEC extended the period to June 9. Chairman of the commission on Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC Festus Okoye, explained that the extension was granted because it would not disrupt other scheduled activities on the timetable. According to Okoye, “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.” Okoye noted that based on previous experience, the commission has decided to train the political party officials to make efficient and effective use of the portal.
“The commission will train four officials from each of the 18 political parties, making a total of 72 in all,” he said, but regretted that some of the political parties were still yet to submit their nominees for the training. “The commission hereby reminds such parties to do so immediately. The commission wishes to reiterate that only electronically submitted nominations will be processed.
“Political parties are therefore advised 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.”