THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected calls for the extension of the deadline for political party primary elections.
Political parties are to conclude their primaries by June 3, the deadline set by INEC for the exercise.
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) had during a courtesy visit to the Commission requested the extension to allow various political parties to prepare for the 2023 general elections.
IPAC is the umbrella body of registered political parties in Nigeria
Chairman of the Council Yusuf Yabagi urged the Commission to shift the June 3 deadline to July 9.
Yabagi, who is also the National Chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), noted that the extension would not in any way affect the dates scheduled for the 2023 general elections.
He noted that the request would not violate the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act.
Reacting, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said there would be no review of the deadline.
He stressed that any further review of the electoral calendar would put pressure on both the Commission and the political parties.
“I hereby reiterate the position of the Commission that there will be no review of the timelines. 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.
“This will ultimately result in more complications than what the extension seeks to achieve. Therefore, the Commission will not review the timelines.”
INEC had warned all political parties to conduct free, fair and credible primaries to minimize litigations.
According to the 2023 elections timetable, political parties are expected to have their primaries from April 4 to June 3, 2022.