- Earlier, INEC advised the 18 registered political parties to go ahead with the business of electing party candidates across the board as there will not be any tinkering of the 2023 election
- In a new development, the national chairman of the Zenith Labour Party said the move by the commission was an initiative of political parties and not the commission
- Nwanyanwu added that the shift would afford parties ample time to adjust their programmes ahead of the new deadline
The national chairman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, has said that the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the electoral timetable was an initiative of the political parties and not the commission as speculated in some quarters.
Leadership reports that the ZLP national chairman also added that it was not done to favour the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
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Nwanyanwu opined that all the political parties including the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which concluded its presidential primaries were part of the decision.
INEC postpone election timetable earlier
Recall that INEC shifted the deadline for parties to hold primaries from June 3 to June 9, after it insisted that it would not adjust it.
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ZLP Nwanyanwu defends INEC over the shift of electoral timetable
But Nwanyanwu, who threw his weight behind the shift of the timetable added that it has afforded parties ample time to adjust their programmes ahead of the new deadline.
He said it is not true that INEC attempted to manipulate the electoral process by deciding to alter the timetable, noting that the PDP which went ahead with its primaries elected not to postpone it.
Nwanyanwu who revealed that he was the brain behind the timetable adjustment said after he called the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) chairman to initiate fresh talks with INEC after he (Nwanyanwu) noticed the window between June 4 and June 10 that could be used by parties to tidy their documents for the election.
“We do not speak for INEC but the attack on INEC that it manipulated the process is not true because we are involved.”
“We saw a window on the 4th of June which is the end of primaries and 9th or 10th of June.
“I called the IPAC chairman and told him about it. All the political parties were happy. So we called INEC. We dragged INEC into this. It had no hand in it. If there are no political parties there will be no INEC. INEC has no business in this. It is the child of IPAC.
“We thought of it, pushed it through and we got it without prejudice to any party. The adjustment was not intended to reverse anything, PDP was aware of the decision.
“It elected not to shift its primaries. They went ahead with the primaries and there is no problem with them. We are not working for APC. We couldn’t have worked for APC.”
2023: List of APC presidential aspirants screened so far
On Monday, May 30, the All Progressives Congress (APC) finally began screening its presidential aspirants.
The screening panel is headed by a former national chairman of the ruling party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the ruling party listed 23 presidential aspirants who will be screened ahead of the primary.
APC screening panel asked to disqualify Tinubu over alleged questionable educational qualifications
In a letter dated May 17, 2022, one Sagir Mai Iyali, who identified himself as an APC member from Kano state, asked the party to disqualify the former Lagos governor over alleged false documents the latter tendered to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 1998.
Iyali also alleged that Tinubu's age is not known, adding that obscurity surrounding the presidential hopeful could jeopardise the party’s chances at the polls.