INEC Warns Political Parties Against Disruptive Primaries


Mahmoud Yakubu, INEC Chairman

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chair, Mahmood Yakubu, has called on political parties to conduct their upcoming primaries according to their submitted schedules. The warning comes amid concerns about potential disruptions caused by “parallel primaries,” where factions within a party hold competing nomination contests.

Speaking at a meeting with political party representatives at the INEC headquarters in Abuja, Yakubu emphasized the importance of adhering to established plans. He pointed out that frequent changes to primary dates and formats create logistical problems for INEC, which is responsible for monitoring these internal party elections.

“Mobilizing, demobilizing, and remobilizing our officials for the monitoring of party primaries at the convenience of political parties is not only disruptive but costly,” Yakubu said.

INEC’s call for order comes during a crucial pre-election period in Nigeria. Political parties are gearing up for primaries to select candidates who will compete in upcoming national elections. Parallel primaries could lead to confusion and legal challenges, potentially jeopardizing the integrity of the electoral process.

He said INEC cannot mobilise, demobilise and remobilise its officials for the monitoring of party primaries at the convenience of political parties.

“Parties should stick to their proposed dates and modes of primaries for certainty and optimal deployment of resources,” he said.

The INEC chair’s statement serves as a reminder to political parties of their responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds democratic principles and ensures a smooth transition towards the general elections.

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