The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not extend the deadline for political parties to submit names of candidates they are fielding for the 2019 general election.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to INEC chairman, said this in an interview with NAN in Abuja on Friday.
Oyekanmi said the commission would stick to the schedule 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.
“The commission is following its timetable and schedule of activities for 2019 general elections. No extension of deadline for submission,” Oyekanmi said.
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”.
NAN correspondent, who also 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 were still going through the submission process.
A staff of the commission, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that given of tally to political parties stopped Thursday night.
He said 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.