By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
All political parties that may encounter problems in uploading their nominated candidates can now heave a sigh of relief as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set up a nomination center to receive and process all nominations by political parties, as well as dedicated telephone lines to serve as help desk for any party that may need assistance.
The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahood Yakuku, who disclosed this at a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja, said, four officials recommended by each of the 18 political parties were trained on the procedure for uploading the nomination forms to the dedicated web portal and Confidential Access Codes to the portal have also been given to each of the political parties to facilitate the uploading of its nominations.
He noted that as “all primaries end today Thursday 9th June 2022, political parties are required to submit their list of candidates for national elections within the next one week from 10th June 2022 (Presidential/Vice Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives) saying the deadline is Friday 17th June 2022”.
According to him, for the state elections (Governorship/Deputy Governorship and State Houses of Assembly), the upload of list of candidates, remains as already released by the Commission in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 General Election from 1st to 15th July 2022.
Professor Yakubu, noted that all political parties are required to upload the details of their candidates for each constituency to the INEC Candidate Nomination Portal (ICNP) hence the training of party official on the procedure for uploading the nomination forms to the portal for easy access.
He emphasised the need for political parties to be mindful that only the names of candidates that emerged from democratic primaries as provided by Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 shall be submitted to the Commission adding that the list of all Presidential and Governorship candidates must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (i.e. Vice Presidential and Deputy Governorship candidates) without which the nomination is invalid.
The INEC Chairman reminded that all nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines as the portal will automatically shut down at 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 17th June 2022 for national elections and 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 15th July 2022 for State elections; warning that the Commission has eliminated the physical interface between party officials and INEC staff for the purpose of submitting the list of candidates for the 2023 General Election owing to the innovation.
In an Interview with the ABS, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, said INEC in Anambra is currently witnessing a surge at its registration centres hence it has opened new registration centres, as well as some of its centres closed by the Commission owing to insecurity.
He urged all those who are revalidating their registration, or transferring their voting centres, modifying or changing the information on the PVCs to do it with phones in the comfort of their homes to reduce the queues at registration centres.