18 political parties have appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to extend electoral timelines. They want INEC to shift the June 3 deadline for the conduct of primary elections by the parties. The parties came together under the Inter-Party Advisory Council IPAC to make this plea.
Engr. Yabagi Sanim, IPAC National Chairman, made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja at the INEC’s interactive session with political parties. He claimed registered political parties were unanimous in making the demand. This includes the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
He said IPAC is consistent in supporting and defending INEC on its administrative reforms and introduction of technology to the electoral system.
“It is within the framework of the enduring bond between the INEC and IPAC in service to the country, that all the 18 registered political parties on the platform of IPAC are jointly, without exception, requesting the INEC to consider a slight adjustment to the recently announced timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections.
“In summary, 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 37 days to the deadline of the time frame for the conduct of party primaries and resolution of conflicts arising from the primaries.
“By implication, the IPAC leadership is appealing to the INEC to extend the deadline for the conduct of party primaries and resolution of ensuing conflicts from the present INEC given date of 3rd June, 2022 to 4th August 2022”.
Sanum said some of the issues considered by the IPAC General Assembly are based on certain circumstances and developments that have hampered timely and strict compliance by the political parties to the timetable. This necessitated the call for an extension in the timeframe of the present INEC timetable and schedule of activities.
“Some of the constraining developments which, we believe were not considered and therefore, not factored by the INEC while drawing up its schedule of activities includes the following:
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 the vast majority of party members were involved.
“The developments inevitably, therefore, greatly disrupted planned activities and programmes of the political parties, leading to the loss of about two weeks out of the allotted time of the timetable. It is also, noteworthy that, the scenario was the first time that the two major events in the Christian and Muslim calendars would be occurring around the period of general elections.