Punish Any Party That Fails To Conclude Primaries On June 3rd, Orji Kalu Urges INEC
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions on political parties that fail to conduct their primary elections within the timeframe stipulated by the commission.
Kalu’s appeal came against the backdrop of reports that political parties in the country were calling on INEC to extend the June 3rd deadline specified for conclusion of primary elections.
The chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, had at a meeting with the country’s 18 registered political parties under the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) rejected the request for an extension of the deadline.
“I hereby reiterate the position of the Commission that there will be no review of the timelines. There are so many interrelated activities that are associated with the timelines which must be carried out.
“Any review to extend the timeline for one activity will affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the Commission. This will ultimately result in more complications than what the extension seeks to achieve. Therefore, the Commission will not review the timelines,” Yakubu had told the political parties at the meeting.
Reacting on Wednesday, Kalu, who had just withdrawn from the 2023 presidential race, said the calls for extension were ’embarrassing’ and reflect the lack of respect for time by many Nigerians.
“Amidst these calls for extension, I urge INEC to take disciplinary actions on any party that fails to meet up with the designated dates . INEC made the dates known as early as February and kept a reminder to all parties through March and April about the commission’s plan to stick to the timetable
“It is therefore embarrassing and speaks volumes of the indiscipline in this country for any party to advocate for extension of date . Most Nigerians do not respect and keep time, that is why appointments are not kept and people continue to give flimsy excuses .
“What have the political parties been doing since February? Is that how to behave in a country? What is the actual benefit of not keeping to rules? INEC should understand that if it succumbs to the pressure of shifting it to a fresh date, the parties would still request for another grace of extension thereby causing confusion everywhere.
“I encourage INEC to stand firm on their decision and deliver as promised,” said the Abia North Senator.