Political parties in Nigeria have asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the June 3 primary election deadline.
Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yusuf Yabagi, made the appeal on Tuesday at a meeting of the electoral umpire and leaders of various political parties at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
Recall, days ago, INEC warned all political parties that deadline for the conduct of 2023 general elections primaries remains fixed for Friday, June 3, 2022.
The electoral body stressed that the nominations for presidential and national assembly elections should be submitted between June 10 and 17 while those of governorship and state houses of assembly should be between July 1 and 15.
Various political parties in the country, especially the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have made a lot from sales of forms for ahead of primary elections.
The APC whose presidential form is N100,000,000 has realised nothing less than N30bn while the opposition party, whose presidential form is priced at N50,000,000 has made nothing less than 17 purchase cumulating to about N850,000,000.
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It is said that the parties are asking the electoral body for a shift in schedule of the 2023 general elections in order to allow more aspirants purchase nomination forms, this which will add to their revenue.
According to Yabagi, who also serves as the National Chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), the extension is necessary to help political parties put things in order for the forthcoming general elections.
However, INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu responding to the appeal informed party leaders that the commission would not review the existing timelines and appealed that primaries be conducted credibly in order to minimise litigations.
While reminding them of the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun, he called on all the parties to comply with the provisions in the Electoral Act.
Meanwhile the Peoples PDP has schedule to conduct a national convention to nominate its Presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections on the 28 and 29 of May, 2022. Similarly, the APC special convention will hold between May 30 to June 1, 2022 in Abuja.
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