The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has said the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to change the timetable and schedule of primary elections was an unfair move, describing it as shifting the goal post in the middle of the game.
INEC said in a statement on Friday, signed by the National Commissioner in Charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, that the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) had requested an extension of the deadline for primaries to June 10.
In a statement after a meeting between IPAC and INEC on Friday, the commission said it had granted the request of political parties to extend the deadline.
Okoye said: “Based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the parties have now pleaded with the Commission to use the six-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 the same to the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal from 10th – 17th June 2022.
Reacting to the development by INEC, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said that INEC bowing to pressure was akin to shifting the goalpost in the middle of the game.
It was gathered that the PDP National Working Committee may meet early Saturday to take a holistic position on the shifting of the timetable by INEC.
But following the decision of INEC to give political parties a week’s grace to conduct their primaries, the ruling APC has decided to postpone its 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 INEC extended the deadline for parties 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.”
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