The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has directed all political parties to submit the names of candidates that emerged from their respective presidential and national assembly primary elections within the next seven days.
The political parties were also mandated to submit the names of running mates of all presidential candidates within the stipulated time.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, at a meeting with the commission’s resident electoral commissioners (RECs) Thursday, said failure to include the names of running mates in the submitted lists will render the nominations invalid.
According to Yakubu, the political parties have until 6.00 pm on June 17, 2022, to submit the presidential and national assembly candidates’ list, after which the online portal will be shut down.
The names of governorship, deputy governorship, and state houses of assembly candidates must be submitted between July 1 and July 15, said the electoral umpire.
The INEC Chairman’s reminder came as the deadline for concluding all primary elections expire today.
It also followed the conclusion of the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic (PDP), where Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar emerged as the respective candidates of the parties.
Yakubu said, “For the next one week from tomorrow 10th June 2022, all Political Parties are required to submit their list of candidates for national elections (Presidential/Vice Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives) latest by Friday 17th June 2022. For State elections (Governorship/Deputy Governorship and State Houses of Assembly), the list of candidates shall be uploaded from 1st to 15th July 2022 as already provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election already released by the Commission.
“All Political Parties are required to upload the details of their candidates for each constituency to the INEC Candidate Nomination Portal (ICNP). To achieve this objective, four officials recommended by each of the 18 political parties were trained on the procedure for uploading the nomination forms to the dedicated web portal. Confidential Access Codes to the portal have already been given to each Political Party to facilitate the uploading of its nominations.
“For emphasis, the Commission wishes to remind Political Parties that only the names of candidates that emerged from democratic primaries as provided by Sec. 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 shall be submitted to the Commission. Similarly, the list of all Presidential and Governorship candidates must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (i.e. Vice Presidential and Deputy Governorship candidates) without which the nomination is invalid. All nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines. The portal will automatically shut down at 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 17th June 2022 for national elections and 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 15th July 2022 for State elections. With this innovation, the Commission has eliminated the physical interface between party officials and INEC staff for the purpose of submitting the list of candidates for the 2023 General Election.”
He added that a nomination centre had also been set up at the INEC’s headquarters to receive and process all nominations by political parties, including dedicated telephone lines to assist all political parties resolve issues they may encounter.
Yakubu also addressed complaints that citizens in some parts of country are unable to access INEC officials to partake in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
He noted that insecurity in some parts of the country has prevented INEC officials from carrying out registration activities but promised that the commission will ensure that all eligible persons seeking to register are captured.
“Unfortunately, in some places the exercise was disrupted by general insecurity. In other places, our Local Government Areas offices were consistently attacked resulting in the suspension of all activities, including voter registration. A number of IVED machines were snatched and uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) destroyed. Worse, our registration officials were violently attacked. Some of them were abducted but later released. In one sad incident, an official lost his life.
“Despite these challenges, the CVR has continued nationwide. However, as the deadline for the suspension of the current exercise approaches, the Commission has received reports of a surge in the number of prospective registrants that daily throng our State and Local Government Area offices as well as designated centres in many States across the country,” he said.
Yukubu added, “I wish to reassure Nigerians that the Commission remains committed to ensuring that all citizens who wish to register are given the opportunity to do so.
“This is one of the reasons why this meeting has been convened. Already, some of the Resident Electoral Commissioners have requested for more voter registration machines to ease the congestion. The Commission will deploy additional machines to areas of need immediately. Thereafter, the Commission will meet to review the progress of the exercise and take further decisions. We will always respond positively to the needs of Nigerians and therefore appeal to all citizens to be patient with the Commission as we strive to serve them better. We appreciate the desire of Nigerians to register as voters. Let me reassure all eligible registrants that no one will be left out.”
THE WHISTLER earlier reported that the INEC chairman’s chief press secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, had specifically blamed the activities of ‘unknown gunmen’ in the South East for the commission’s failure to efficiently capture residents in the region.
“While our staff are prepared to do their job, it should not be at the expense of their lives,” Oyekanmi had said.