Barely 50 days to conduct party primaries for the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said only 10 political parties had served it notices for the conduct of their primaries. The Electoral Act mandates INEC to observe the conduct of political party primaries for the purpose of electing candidates.
The Act says such notice shall reach the Commission, at least, three weeks before the date fixed for the primaries. INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu, at a conference yesterday, warned the parties of the consequences of any breach of the Commission’s timetable or the Electoral Act. He further told the parties that nomination of candidates for the 2023 general elections must emerge from valid primaries as provided in Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 “The Commission wishes to reiterate that the dates for all activities in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election, including the conduct of party primaries, are firm and fixed.
“With 52 days (as at April 13) to the last day for the conduct of primaries (i.e. June 3, 2022), political parties are once again admonished to adhere strictly to all dates in the timetable, including the nomination of their candidates via the INEC web portal,” he said.
The INEC Chairman regretted that despite warnings against double registration, the Commission recorded about 45 percent double registrants nationwide. According to him, the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), which replaced the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) used previously to clean the register of voters, detected double registrants among the 1,509,076 who registered in the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise.
“Sadly, it seems that many registrants, either out of ignorance that they do not need to re-register if they had done so before, or a belief that our systems will not detect this infraction, have gone out to register again. “This is despite repeated. In addition, there are also registrants whose data were incomplete and did not meet our Business Rules for inclusion in the register. Both categories i.e. the failure of ABIS and incomplete data constitute invalid registrations,” he stated. He stated that the Commission is reviewing reports on staff involvement and would prosecute those found culpable. Prof. Yakubu disclosed that a total of 1,854,859 permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) are ready for collection, by fresh registrants and verified applicants for transfer or replacement of cards, after completion of data clean up. This, he said, included 1,390,519 PVCs for genuine new registrants and 464,340 PVCs for transfer or replacement.