Political parties on Thursday resorted to last-minute rush to beat the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) deadline for the submission of list of candidates for 2019 general elections.
INEC had scheduled the submission of candidates’ names for the Presidential and National Assembly between Oct. 10 and Oct. 18, and deadline for the Governorship and State Assemblies election on Nov. 2.
The News Agency of Nigeria correspondents who were at the venue of the exercise, International Conference Center (ICC) Abuja, reported that many party leaders and representatives were just arriving at the venue at about 6:00 p.m.
Some of the party leaders and candidates who spoke with NAN, attributed the delay in submission to the cumbersome process involved in the filling of the forms and large size of the country.
To fast-track the submission process, INEC grouped the political parties into seven teams, comprising 13 parties in each group.
Some of the parties’ representatives came into the venue with some of their forms to obtain tally, while still sorting other forms elsewhere, to beat the deadline.
Some were seen using torches at the car park to sort their forms before submission.
While the deadline is fixed for Thursday, last political party to obtain INEC tally before 12 midnight would be allowed to submit its forms.
The Presidential candidate and National Chairman of the National Conscience Party ( NCP), Dr Yunusa Tanko, commended INEC for the arrangement for collection.
Tanko, who was still waiting to submit with tally number 37, said that in the past, people needed to hang around INEC office for submission.
He said with the large space now provided, all they needed to do was to get a tally and sit in a hall till when the tally number would be called.
He said that the delay in submission was not the fault of INEC or that of the political parties, as they needed to get oath of office from the court for each form.
He said there was a need to increase the number of days for submission since the number of political parties had increased to 91.
Eunice Atuejide, National Chairman, National Interest Party, also commended the process, saying INEC was not responsible for the rush.
Olusegun Mimiko, the Presidential Candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, who was at the venue with the party’s National Chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu, said that the party got tally 73 as at 5.30 p.m.