Tuesday, July 5, 2022


IPAC: INEC must extend deadline for primaries

IPAC: INEC must extend deadline for primaries
May 11
11:57 2022

Yabagi Sani, chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must extend the deadline for the conduct of party primaries.

On Tuesday, in a meeting with the political parties, INEC again rejected appeals to extend the party primaries.

But speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday, Sani said the dilemma of zoning and power shift in political parties necessitates an extension of the deadline. 

He said coupled with this, the parties are engaged in time consuming activities like consultation, voter education and campaigning, hence the need for INEC to shift ground.


Sani said a section of the electoral act is being sought for amendment in the national assembly, adding that this means that “all is not perfect yet”.

On Tuesday, the senate amended the electoral act 2022 to enable statutory delegates to vote at the congresses or conventions of political parties.

The amendment comes after Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy senate president, said the error in section 84 subsection 8 of the electoral act was not an “intended” error.


Sani said INEC must put such developments into consideration to avoid litigation and crisis in the nation’s political space.

“Governance is something you don’t rush. Selection of candidates is very important, we have to do it with the highest level of consideration we can bring to it,” he said.

“This issue of zoning and other things coming up, we have to deal with them and properly in the interest of this country.

“The issue of voter education, campaigning and things like that are going on. These are fundamental issues that we must address on their own and it requires time. 


“That’s why we are having political parties having problems as to where they bring their candidates from. It is our reality, we can’t sweep it under the carpet. 

“Nigeria is a country people look up to, particularly in the context of Africa. We should take time to do it right without violating the grand norms. 

“When you do things in haste, you’re bound to make mistakes. I don’t think INEC will toll that line [of not extending the timeline]. They are morepassionate as we are to make this election succeed.

“[Not extending the deadline] has no space in democracy. Democracy allows you so much latitude, there’s nothing cast on stone.


“INEC will not toll that line. We are on the same page with them. We feel their pain, we understand it will mean more work for them but more work for something better for all of us.

“We are the beneficiaries, INEC’s role is just to supervise. So if we are calling on them to check something out, it is to avoid costly mistakes. 


“This is not something we should be fixed on.  The issue of where the president should come from is an issue this country must get right.

“We don’t want to end up with a crisis ridden election. INEC doesn’t want that either. And the only way to do this is to take time to consult with various stakeholders in the country.


“This is not time waiting. It’s now time to rush, it’s time to make sure you assuage all manners of fears and consideration.

“Even the act we are talking about, even the national assembly are still amending the act. To tell you that this is not something that is completely perfect yet.

“We have to take it slowly so we don’t make avoidable mistakes that will cost us unnecessary opportunities we have today to give this country the leadership it deserves.”


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