Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday, directed the presidential and governorship candidates of the 18 registered political parties to submit the lists of their running mates within one week.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave this directive in Abuja during his meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
With this development, the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; and New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and others have only one more to nominate their vice presidential candidates and submit their names to INEC.
Yakubu said with Thursday’s conclusion of party conventions and primaries for the 2023 general elections, nomination of the candidates and their running mates begins on Friday and will end one week after.
The INEC boss said, “For the next one week from tomorrow, 10th June, all political parties are required to submit their list of candidates for national elections (presidential/vice presidential, senatorial and house of representatives) latest by Friday, 17th June.
“For state elections (governorship/deputy governorship and state houses of assembly), the list of candidates shall be uploaded from 1st to 15th July as already provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election already released by the Commission.”
Yakubu added that all political parties are required to upload the details of their candidates for each constituency to the INEC Candidate Nomination Portal (ICNP).
He explained that in order to achieve this objective, four officials recommended by each of the 18 political parties were trained in the procedure for uploading the nomination forms to the dedicated web portal.
He said, “Confidential Access Codes to the portal have already been given to each Political Party to facilitate the uploading of its nominations.
“For emphasis, the commission wishes to remind Political Parties that only the names of candidates that emerged from democratic primaries as provided by Sec. 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 shall be submitted to the commission.”
The INEC boss further stated that the list of all presidential and governorship candidates must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (that is vice presidential and deputy governorship candidates) without which the nomination is invalid.
He also warned that all nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines.
He said, “All nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines. 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.
“With this innovation, 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.”
Yakubu said that a nomination centre has been set up at the commission’s headquarters to receive and process all nominations by political parties, including dedicated telephone lines to serve as help desk for any party that may need assistance.
Journalists later visited the nomination centre, where the INEC boss said that each of the 18 registered political parties was expected to submit 1,520 nominees or 27,360 total for all the parties.