The Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission won’t accept fresh requests by political parties to change electoral timetables including June 3, 2022 deadline for parties to submit their candidates for the 2023 general elections.
Igini noted that the 18 political parties have been in the habit of constant requests for an extension of the deadline for the submission of candidates.
He said, “Within the broad outline of the timetable issued, political parties have been making changes and sending letters almost every day shifting dates, venues and time. As disruptive as these changes to our internal workings, these shifts have all been accommodated by the commission to the extent that our staff now work in the field during weekends.
“These changes have been at a huge cost to the commission that deployed staff members to various states from Abuja and within states.
“If l may observe and ask, why is it that political parties decided to leave out the whole of April that they should have commenced the conduct of primaries? Why is it that some of these parties chose almost the last few days to the end of the month of May for these all-important activities when they know that the submission deadline is the 3rd of June 2022? Haven’t they been hearing and reading the chairman’s consistent refrain of constitutional and statutory timelines are “fixed and firmed” at all stakeholders’ meetings?
“Look, as l have said, changes of venues and time within the framework of the already issued constitutional timetable by the commission, no problems and they have been doing that but a fundamental shift is what the commission has advised against to allow for the certainty of timeline for the 2023 elections otherwise we will continue to shift and shift the timetable.”