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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday refused several pleas from political parties to adjust the timetable for the 2023 general elections.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stated this during a meeting between the Commission and leaders of political parties under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC).
The Commission argued that such requests would not be allowed considering the lineup of activities already released and published for the 2023 polls.
Recall that the electoral body had already fixed Presidential and National Assembly elections for February 25, 2023 while governorship and state assembly elections would be held on March 11, 2023.
The IPAC Chairman, Yabagi Sani, who made the request on behalf of the political parties on Friday, asked the commission to extend the June 3 deadline for primaries to any date on or before June 10.
IPAC had earlier asked INEC to extend the deadline for primaries to August 4, but the commission had rejected the request.
But on Friday, the IPAC chairman who is also the National Chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) noted that extending the deadline to June 10 would give parties time to be better organised without affecting INEC’s timetable.
“We feel that if we’re given more time, we’ll be able to deliver on the promise of having a free and fair election,” he said.
In his response, the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission would review the political parties’ request.
Yakubu however noted that the commission fixed the deadline considering the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, insisting that all the political parties should comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Represented at the Friday meeting include the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), among others.