The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that it is too late to change the general election calendar for 2023.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, stated this.
Okoye spoke against the backdrop of the Inter-Party Advisory Council’s recent request for a two-month extension of the date for conducting parties’ primary elections (IPAC).
Any modification in the June 3 deadline, he claims, will have an impact on other election-related operations.
“The commission’s timeline and schedule of activities are based on the constitution, the Electoral Act, and the commission’s Regulations and Guidelines.”
“Our timeline and program of activities, as well as the final date for the conduct of party primaries, are firm and fixed,” said Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the commission’s chairman.
“Political parties are holding their conventions and primaries. The commission will not tamper with its fixtures because it would disrupt other tasks and violate constitutional deadlines.
“Planning requires certainty, and the commission is committed to meeting its deadlines. He said political parties must prepare for the challenges posed by the Electoral Act of 2022.
Adjusting the election schedule, according to Okoye, would be arbitrary because the commission is currently busy with several activities.
“INEC is preparing for governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun, as well as 18 by-elections, whereas party primaries are a modest fraction of the commission’s activity.”
“The commission is in the process of procuring sensitive and non-sensitive items, as well as evaluating and renovating our state and local government offices.”
“Thousands of nomination forms will be received, printed, and displayed by INEC.” Furthermore, for the congresses and primaries, we have trained and deployed hundreds of monitors.”
As a result, Okoye claimed that it was too late to change the timetables, emphasizing that the commission had announced the timetable and schedule on February 26.