The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will not extend the deadline for political parties to submit names of candidates they are fielding for the 2019 general election.
This was disclosed on Friday, October 19, 2018 by Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to INEC chairman in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said that the commission would stick to the schedule of the submission of candidates’ names.
INEC had earlier announced October 18 as deadline for the submission of names for presidential and national assembly and November 2 as the last day for the submission of names of governorship and state assemblies elections.
Oyekanmi said that:
“The commission is following its timetable and schedule of activities for 2019 general elections. No extension of deadline for submission”.
Oyekanmi, who was unable to give the precise number of political parties that met the deadline as of the time of filing this report, said “over 80 political parties made it but I am still waiting for the precise number”.
However, a NAN correspondent, who visited the Aso Hall, International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, the venue of the submission after the deadline, said some officers of political parties, who got tallies on Wednesday night, October 17, 2018 were still going through the submission process.
The commission however noted that political parties stopped receiving tally on Thursday night, October 18, 2018.
A source at the commission confirmed that due to the last-minute rush by political parties, INEC staff, security officers and other personnel on duty at the venue were unable to go home.
He said they had reached about 70 out of over 80 political parties that had so far submitted their candidates’ list.
He also confirmed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had submitted their forms.
As of 4pm on Friday, some political parties’ representatives were seen in front of the hall waiting for their turn to submit their forms.