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Orji Kalu urges INEC to disregard calls for extension of electoral deadlines




Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, the Senate Chief Whip, on Wednesday, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission not to heed requests for an extension of the deadline for political parties to hold primaries.

He said in a statement on Wednesday that INEC had given enough notice to parties, including enough reminders.

“Most Nigerians do not respect and keep time,” Kalu said in his statement, “this is why appointments are not kept and people continue to make flimsy excuses.”

In addition, the legislator urged INEC to sanction any party that failed to keep the deadline.

The statement partly reads, “The Independent National Electoral Commission has been inundated with calls to extend the conduct of Primary elections beyond June 3. The commission had in February earmarked April 4 to June 3 for the conduct of party primaries.

“Amidst these calls for extension, I urge INEC to take disciplinary actions on any party that fails to meet up with the designated dates.

INEC made the dates known as early as February and kept a reminder to all parties through March and April about the commission’s plan to stick to the timetable.

“It is therefore embarrassing and speaks volumes of the indiscipline in this country for any party to advocate for the extension of date. Most Nigerians do not respect and keep time, that is why appointments are not kept and people continue to give flimsy excuses.

“What have the political parties been doing since February? Is that how to behave in a country? What is the actual benefit of not keeping to rules? INEC should understand that if it succumbs to the pressure of shifting it to a fresh date, the parties would still request for another grace of extension thereby causing confusion everywhere.

Read also: Orji Kalu hints at withdrawing from 2023 presidential race

“I encourage INEC to stand firm on their decision and deliver as promised.”

Earlier in the week, Orji Kalu withdrew from the 2023 presidential race.

He, however, threw his weight behind the ambition of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan who has joined the race from the north-east region of the country.

Kalu said that his withdrawal was occasioned by the non-zoning of the presidential ticket to his home region, south-east.

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