Northern group calls for extension of party primaries

A northern group, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to consider changing the electoral calendar and extending the holding of party primaries ahead of the 2023 general election.

The group noted that the call has become imperative given the growing tension across the country caused by banditry, the strike of the Union of Academic Staff of Universities, among others.

The punch reported that on February 26, INEC released the schedule and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election.

The Commission has scheduled the parties to hold their primaries for the nomination of candidates from April 5 to June 3, 2022.

However, AYCF National Chairman Yerima Shetima in a statement in Kaduna on Sunday insisted that current events across the country were reason enough for INEC to extend the conduct of the party’s primaries.

According to him, holding party primaries in many states of the Federation (North and South) at the moment may not be feasible due to rising tensions everywhere, adding that there were student protests planned in nationwide in solidarity with the ASUU.

“And the media is suggesting that the Christian Association of Nigeria has ordered all state branches of the religious body to embark on nationwide street protests over the death of a female student accused of blasphemy in the state, resulting in the imposition of a 24-hour curfew.

“The mass killing of non-indigenous traders by gunmen in the southeast and attacks on government facilities have not diminished,” he added.

In this context, the AYCF therefore urges “the Independent National Electoral Commission to reconsider the announced date, or at best, stagger the primaries based on security and intelligence information from the various states, especially in well-known hotspots. violence and arson”. .

“We urge the Security and Intelligence Service to guide the INEC on the safest places to hold primaries without endangering the lives of innocent voters.

“Most importantly, life is so precious that we cannot afford to sacrifice it for the sake of fulfilling our civic duties. Normally only living people can vote and upvote.

“We have made these suggestions in the interest of a safe and peaceful conduct of the primaries across Nigeria as we hopefully prepare for a successful general election in 2023.”

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Jennifer C. Burleigh