2023 Elections: PDP More God-Fearing Than APC – Fintiri

A file photo of Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri. Source: @GovernorAUF

 

Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State believes the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a better option for Nigerians than the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). 

The governor spoke to Channels Television on the sidelines of the PDP National Convention which is holding in Abuja on Saturday. While he admitted that the party has made mistakes in the past, the PDP, he maintained is still miles ahead of the APC.

“They have [forgiven us] and I think ours [PDP] is better. We are more God-fearing than the APC,” the governor said at the event being held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium Velodrome in Abuja.

“We made a mistake and we apologised which is human. The APC are making mistakes and they are still claiming they are going in the right direction and Nigerians are suffering. We have been licking our wounds.”

READ ALSOPDP Slams INEC’s Decision To Extend Deadline For Party Primaries

‘They Are Disorganised’

The APC and PDP are two of the country’s leading parties.

 

The PDP chieftain believes with the quality of aspirants on parade by the PDP as well as the party’s preparedness, the APC cannot match his party.

“If you see the character of our candidates, it would attest to you that this presidency for 2023 is for taking for this great party.  The APC have made mistakes, they are still making mistakes,” he argued.

“You can see they are disorganised. Their primary was supposed to be for tomorrow. There was no preparation on their side. INEC had to tune to their side to extend the convention by six days so that it can accommodate their ill-preparation.

“Whatever that will come out of it, I don’t think it would be able to challenge us. Nigerians have learned their lessons and they are for PDP this time around.”

The governor, who said he will be supporting former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the presidential primary, disclosed that an aspirant has stepped down for the Adamawa-born politician.

“Hayatu-Deen has stepped down for him (Atiku),” Mr Fintiri said. “I think he has stepped down for him. He has instructed his delegates to vote for Atiku.

CSO Condemns INEC’s Decision To Extend Deadline For Party Primaries

A file photo of an INEC official carrying a bag with electoral materials.

 

A civil society election observation organization, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for extending the deadline for the conduct of primary elections and submission of the list of nominated candidates for the 2023 general elections, from 4th to 9th of June 2022.

TMG’s Chairman, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, in a statement on Friday, lamented the extension noting that the group received the news with great worries and concerns.

He said that at a time when Nigerians are beginning to have confidence in the electoral umpire some powerful forces are trying to undermine and pressurise it to doing their biddings.

READ ALSO: PDP Slams INEC’s Decision To Extend Deadline For Party Primaries

Rafsanjani said: “A lot of political parties have made efforts in conducting their primaries and if the ruling party is still uncertain about the day to conduct its presidential primary elections that shouldn’t be the basis for the extension.”

The Group also condemned the vote-buying incidents in the ongoing political party primaries across the country, stating that “any financial inducements on delegates were tantamount to the mortgaging of the country’s future.”

Mr Rafsanjani said: “We are appalled by the incidents of vote-buying and sundry financial inducements on the delegates in the ongoing political party primaries across the country.

“Delegates should note that they don’t have to go to the extent of mortgaging Nigeria’s future on the altar of ephemeral financial gratifications. They should think of Nigeria first before any other considerations.

“Our observers reported that aspirants’ agents were largely involved in coordinating vote-buying for various persons seeking political offices, which is unfortunate.

“It should be noted that the influence of money in an election has far-reaching implications in Nigerian politics because any politician that spends to be voted for will surely work towards recouping the money at the end of the day, and it is still the voters that will be at the receiving end.”

Mr Rafsanjani, lamented the incident that has led to an alarming increase in the rate of foreign exchange, saying that the Nigerian Naira has now reached an all-time high of N610 to a dollar.

“As the country is witnessing various economic challenges it is worrisome to see that the amount of money that is exchanging hands in this period has led to the sky-rocketing of the Naira, it is at its all-time high of N610 to a dollar in the country,” he stressed.

The TMG boss noted that the group will continue to monitor the electoral processes with a view to ascertaining the level of transparency and fairness in the process and report the same to Nigerians in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

The group, however, commended INEC and security agencies for ensuring the smooth conduct of the party primaries across the country.

APC Postpones Presidential Primary To June 6

The APC flag.

The All Progressives Congress has postponed its special convention for presidential primary for the  2023 general elections from May 29 to June 6.

National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, announced this in a statement hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission extended the deadline for party’s to conduct their primaries.

The short statement read, “Following the Independent National Electoral Commission’s extension of deadline for the submission of list of candidates by political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) hereby postpones its Special Convention for Presidential Primary from Sunday, 29th-Monday, 30th of May, 2020, to Monday, 6th-Wednesday, 8th of June, 2022.”

INEC announced the extension of the deadline for political parties to conduct their primaries by six days on Friday evening.

The commission had initially announced a deadline of June 3 from the presidential primaries. The extension of the deadline covers the six-day period between June 4 and 9.

READ ALSO: PDP Slams INEC’s Decision To Extend Deadline For Party Primaries

The electoral umpire’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

The decision followed a meeting between leaders of various political parties and the leadership of INEC led by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the commission’s headquarters in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

At the meeting, the politicians under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) again appealed to INEC to adjust the timetable for the forthcoming polls.

Chairman of IPAC, Sani Yabagi of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), explained that adjusting the timetable of the election became necessary because the current timetable was too tight for the political parties.

According to Okoye, the request was for a 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates.

He said INEC was emphatic that such an extension could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the timetable.

He explained that the parties then pleaded with the commission to use the six-day period between June 4 and 9 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

“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,” he said.

“However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.”

PDP Slams INEC’s Decision To Extend Deadline For Party Primaries

A file photo of the PDP emblem.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party has frowned on INEC’s decision to extend the deadline for party primaries by six days.

PDP spokesperson, Mr Debo Ologunagba, said INEC has changed the goalpost in the middle of the game, stressing that certainty of elections is the bedrock of democracy.

He was speaking at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, where the PDP is scheduled to hold its special National Convention on Saturday.

READ ALSO: INEC Extends Deadline For Party Primaries By Six Days

“The consequences will be grave for the country. And of course we have to look at that,” he said.

“The bedrock of democracy is certainty of elections and the fact that the rules are clear to every participant; and you cannot shift the goalpost in the middle of the game.”

UPDATED: INEC Extends Deadline For Party Primaries By Six Days

A file photo of an INEC official carrying a bag with electoral materials.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for political parties to conduct their primaries for the 2023 general elections.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

This comes hours after leaders of various political parties met with the leadership of the electoral umpire led by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the commission’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.

At the meeting, the politicians under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) again appealed to INEC to adjust the timetable for the forthcoming polls.

Chairman of IPAC, Sani Yabagi of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), explained that adjusting the timetable of the election became necessary because of the current timetable which he said was too tight for the political parties.

In response to the appeal, INEC, according to Okoye, was emphatic that the request for a 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the timetable.

He stated that the parties later pleaded with the commission to use the six-day period between June 4 and 9 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

The INEC official stated that the commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period in order to give parties time to compile the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates before uploading same to its portal.

“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,” he said.

“However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.”

Read the full statement below:

 

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION

PRESS RELEASE

PARTY PRIMARIES AND SUBMISSION OF LIST OF NOMINATED CANDIDATES

Party Primaries

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met with the leadership of political parties today Friday 27th May 2022. Once again, the political parties requested the Commission to review the timelines for political party primaries provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the 2023 General Election released on Saturday 26th February 2022.

Earlier, the political parties had requested for 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates. The Commission was emphatic that this request could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the Timetable. This position of the Commission has not changed.

However, based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the parties have now pleaded with the Commission to use the 6-day period between 4th and 9th June 2022 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal. The Commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period. The idea is to simply give parties time to compile the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates before uploading same to the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal from 10th – 17th June 2022.

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. However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The Commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.

The INEC Candidates Nomination Portal

After the conduct of primaries, the next critical activity for political parties is the online submission of the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor which shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidates indicating that they fulfilled all the constitutional requirements for election into the various offices via the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

In addition, the Commission, based on past experience, 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.

Unfortunately, some of the political parties are 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.

Festus Okoye

Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee

Friday 27th May 2022

2023 Polls: INEC Considering Political Parties’ Request To Extend Timetable, Says Yakubu

A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is considering the request by political parties to extend the 2023 General Elections Timetable.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on Friday at the headquarters of the electoral umpire in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He spoke during a meeting with leaders of political parties under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) for the adjustment of the timetable for the forthcoming polls.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi Joins Labour Party After Dumping PDP

The Chairman of IPAC, Sani Yabagi, made the request known again to INEC on behalf of other leaders and representatives of political parties at the meeting.

Yabagi, who also serves as the National Chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), explained that adjusting the timetable of the election became necessary because of the current timetable which he was tight for the political parties.

Some of the political parties represented at the meeting were the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), among others.

At a previous meeting with INEC held two weeks ago, the political parties had appealed to the electoral umpire to extend the timelines for the 2023 general elections by two months.

Specifically, they requested slight changes to the timeline for political parties to conduct their primaries, as stipulated by INEC.

Yabagi, while addressing the meeting at the time, explained that extending the timelines would help the political parties put things in order for the forthcoming general elections.

But the INEC chief had informed the party leaders that the commission would not review the existing timelines and appealed that the 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.

Lagos APC Guber Primary Poll Begins As Sanwo-Olu Battles Two Others

Governor Sanwo-Olu is seeking a second term in office. [email protected] jidesanwoolu

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary in Lagos State has commenced with an accreditation exercise at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan Stadium.

Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are on the ground for the event. APC supporters are also gathered at the venue to take part in the voting exercise.

The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is contesting for the 2023 governorship seat, is also present. The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila is also at the Onikan Stadium.

READ ALSO: Jonathan Has Not Resigned His Membership Of The PDP – Party Spokesman

Governor Sanwo-Olu as well as two other aspirants –  former Commissioner of Energy, Mister Wale Oluwo;  former Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Energy, Mister Mustapha Olorunfemi, who both served during the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode  –  are all contesting for the governorship position in Lagos State under the party.

Five delegates from 245 across 20 recognised local government areas – totalling 1,225 delegates –  are expected to cast their votes.

Meanwhile, the State House of Assembly primaries is ongoing in different wards across the southwest state.

SERAP Writes INEC, Seeks Details Of Financial Transactions Of Political Parties

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “widely publish the reports on the accounts and balance sheet of every political party submitted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the National Assembly since 2015.”

SERAP urged him to “urgently examine the books and records of financial transactions of political parties, and to make public the outcome of any such examination.”

SERAP also urged him to “provide details of the guidelines, and steps that INEC is taking to prevent vote buying in the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun states and 2023 general elections, and to prosecute vote buyers and other electoral offenders.”

Recently, the All Progressives Congress (APC) collected N100 million for its presidential form while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) collected N40 million for its presidential form for the 2023 election. Some leading political parties and politicians also spend between N250 to N14,000 to buy votes.

READ ALSO: SERAP Sues Buhari For Spending N1.48 Trillion On Maintaining Refineries With No Crude Oil

In the letter dated 21 May, 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Nigerians have the right to know about the accounts and financial transactions of their political parties, especially the major parties with a strong possibility to assume government in the future.”

According to SERAP, “transparency and accountability of political parties is important to achieve greater transparency in public life, curb the influence of money in politics, promote a level playing field, and remove the risks to the independence of political actors and would-be public office holders.”

SERAP also said, “It is both immoral and illegal to pay citizens to vote for a particular political party or candidate. Unpunished cases of vote buying and related electoral offences would continue to undermine good governance, the rule of law, moral values, as well as hinder citizens’ participation in elections.”

The letter, read in part: “When a political candidate decides to buy the support of the people rather than contest fairly for their votes, there are possibilities that such candidate will show a disregard for democratic rules and a disposition to adopt illegal means becomes inevitable.”

“Vote buying and related electoral offences encourage poor governance and weaken citizens’ capacity to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.”

“SERAP urges you to urgently take measures and to collaborate with appropriate anti-corruption agencies to ensure the effective prosecution of any outstanding cases of vote buying and related electoral offences allegedly committed in the context of the 2019 general elections.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel INEC to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“The lack of transparency and accountability in political finance is seriously undermining the legitimacy and credibility of the democratic and electoral processes, and invariably contributing to denying the citizens the right to effective participation in their own government.”

“The failure of political parties to comply with transparency and accountability frameworks would undermine citizens’ trust in their political parties and lack of trust will inevitably destroy confidence in the system and decrease citizens’ interest and participation in the democratic process.”

“Elections are only one part of the democratic process, and a fair and effective electoral system must be founded in an adequate democratic infrastructure and responsibility of political leaders.”

“According to our information, several political parties have for many years failed to submit their annual financial statements to INEC. Many political parties have failed to submit election expenses reports, and to disclose material contributions received from individuals and corporate bodies to the Commission.”

“The Commission has also been apparently unable or unwilling to monitor, examine and publish these financial statements.”

“Also, some leading political parties, politicians and other political actors reportedly paid between N250 to N14,000 to buy votes. For many years, allegations of vote buying (the payment of cash or gifts in exchange for voting) and related electoral offences have characterised elections and party primaries in the country.”

“SERAP is concerned that despite several provisions of the Electoral Act (as amended), anti-corruption laws, and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations, suspected perpetrators of vote buying and related electoral offences frequently escape justice for their crimes.”

“However, INEC has consistently failed to exercise its powers and to provide the leadership that would promote collaboration with appropriate anti-corruption agencies to facilitate and ensure thorough, transparent and effective investigation of cases, and the arrest and prosecution of suspected perpetrators.”

“Section 86(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 requires every political party to submit to INEC a detailed annual statement of assets and liabilities and analysis of its sources of funds and other assets and statement of its expenditure. Failure to comply is an offence under Section 86(2), which is punishable by imprisonment for a term of six months or a fine of N1,000,000 or both.”

“Under Section 86(3)(4) INEC has the power to examine the records and audited accounts kept by any political party, and to publish the report on such examinations and audit in two national newspapers and Commission’s website within 30 days of receipt of the results.”

“Section 226 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022 also requires INEC to prepare and submit a report every year to the National Assembly on the accounts and balance sheet of every political party. Under Section 225(5), INEC has the power to give directions to political parties regarding their books or records of financial transactions.”

“The Nigerian Constitution and international standards guarantee and protect the right of all qualified citizens to vote, in state as well as in general elections.”
“The right to vote freely for the political party and candidate of one’s choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government.”

“The effective exercise of the right of qualified Nigerians to have a voice in the election of those who make and enforce the laws under which, as good citizens, they live can contribute to the enjoyment of other human rights, including to corruption-free public services, freedom of expression and digital and data rights.”

“Public confidence in voting systems serves as an indispensable feature of a full and healthy democracy.”

“Persistent failure to arrest and prosecute suspected perpetrators of vote buying and related electoral offences may ultimately undermine public confidence, the integrity of the country’s elections, and lead to wide-spread disaffection with the electoral process.”

Adamawa Governorship: Court Summons PDP, INEC Over Waziri’s Disqualification

A court gavel

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday summoned the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to appear over the purported disqualification of Abubakar Waziri from the Adamawa governorship primary.

In a ruling on an ex-parte application by Waziri, Justice Obiora Egwuatu said it was in the interest of justice for all the parties to appear and respond to the issues in the matter.

Counsel to Waziri, Louis Alozie (SAN) had earlier informed the court that the purported disqualification of Waziri was done in breach of the Electoral Act and the party guidelines after both the Yola South Local Government Area and the Steering Committee cleared him for fulfilling all the requirements to participate in the primary election billed for May 23.

READ ALSO: Court Denies Nnamdi Kanu Bail, Prosecutors Withdraw Newly Amended Charges Against Him

Waziri had sought the court to declare that he is qualified to contest the gubernatorial primary election of the PDP in Adamawa State for the selection of the party’s candidate for the Governorship election in Adamawa State.

He also sought the court to declare that his purported disqualification from contesting the PDP Gubernatorial Primary Election in Adamawa State is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.

Waziri sought an order restraining INEC from accepting the result of any primary election of the PDP in which he was not allowed to contest.

Justice Egwuatu, therefore, adjourned to May 31 for a hearing.

INEC Raises Concern Over Security Ahead Of 2023 Polls

A file photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised concerns about the security challenges in the country ahead of the 2023 general elections.

With about nine months to the polls, it, however, allayed fears that the elections might not hold due to security threats.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the remarks on Friday in Abuja at the second quarterly meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

He believes there is enough time for the security agencies to address the situation to ensure people go to their various polling units without concerns over their safety.

Although the INEC chief admitted that the present situation was enough to be worried about, he was confident that the threats would be brought under control to allow for elections.

READ ALSO: Ngige Withdraws From Presidential Race

“The general security situation in the country and its impact on the electoral process is a source of concern to the commission,” he said. “However, we are confident that with nine months to the 2023 general election, there is enough time to respond to the security challenges and secure the nation for elections to take place nationwide.

“The timetable for the election has also been released. Let us not wait until a few weeks to the election before we realise that time is not on our side and begin to seek for extension of timelines. The time to act is now. We wish to reassure the security agencies that we will continue to work cooperatively with you to ensure the success of all forthcoming elections and electoral activities.”

According to Yakubu, the commission is also preparing for two off-cycle governorship elections in Ekiti State (June 18) and Osun State (July 16).

He added that it has pending bye-elections in 18 constituencies across the country comprising three senatorial districts, one federal constituency, and 14 state constituencies.

The INEC boss stated that as political parties end their primaries on June 3 with candidates emerging, campaigns in public by political parties would commence nationwide as provided by the timetable for the election, in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution.

As a result, he said the electoral umpire and security agencies have their work clearly cut out,

“We have tasked our Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to provide basic data on areas of security challenges in their states, including citizens living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps,” he said.

“Our idea is to harvest the data as a basis for further engagement with the security agencies, as well as devising the best way to provide electoral services to all Nigerians under all circumstances.”

Election: NSA Directs Law Enforcement Agencies To Beef Up Security

A file photo of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno
A file photo of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno

 

Ahead of the Ekiti, Osun, and the 2023 general Elections, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno has directed heads of security and law enforcement agencies to scale up security and start the profiling of political actors who exhibit tendencies to subvert the electoral process.

Representative of the NSA, Mister Sanusi Galadima, stated this at the meeting of the Interagency Committee on Elections Security.

READ ALSOSGF Directs Emefiele, Heads Of Agencies, Others With Political Ambition To Resign

The event is held at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja.

Both elections are billed for later in the year while the general election hols next year.

No Extension Of Timeline For Party Primaries – INEC

File photo: INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, addressing a press conference in Abuja on February 14, 2020. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday said it has no intention of extending the timeline for party primaries.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the comment while speaking at a consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja.

Political parties in the country had asked INEC to extend the timelines for the 2023 general elections by two months.

READ ALSO: Political Parties Have One Month To Conduct Primaries, Says INEC

Specifically, the parties want slight changes to the primaries’ timeline, as stipulated by the electoral umpire.

But Yakubu insisted the timeline for primaries remains fixed between April 4 and June 3.

“Twice in the last two weeks, the Commission had cause to remind political parties of the necessity for strict compliance with the timelines for party primaries,” the INEC Chairman said.

“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. Working together, we should ensure fidelity to the timelines in conducting transparent and democratic primaries for the purpose of electing candidates for the 1,491 constituencies for which elections will be held on 25th February and 11th March 2023.”

Yakubu asked the parties to ensure their primaries make room for Women, youths and persons with disability.

“To assure citizens that you are not paying lip service to this commitment, political parties should encourage greater involvement of all under-represented segments of the society as candidates for elections,” he said.

“This is the only way we can change the reality of increasingly low level of representation of these critical segments of the society in legislative assemblies in particular and the governance of our country in general.”