A coalition of over 300 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against tinkering with the timetable for the 2023 general elections.
The organisations said in a statement Saturday that doing so would portend danger to the integrity of the electoral process and would affect the conduct of the 2023 elections.
There had been pressure on INEC, especially from the 18 registered political parties under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), to extend the deadline for the conduct of primary elections by parties.
Also, INEC had insisted that the June 3 deadline for parties to pick their candidates for the 2023 elections remains sacrosanct.
But the CSOs said the primary elections processes started about three months ago when the electoral umpire released the timetable, thus would be unfair and inconsiderate if INEC changes the timetable at this stage.
They also condemned the fresh attempt by the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act 2022, which came to force recently after being signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The CSOs said that the timetable is part of the rules of the electoral process that ensure certainty and safeguard the integrity of the process.
The CSOs are: The Electoral Hub, Ayisha Osori, Adopt A Goal Initiative, Abuja School for Social and Political Thought; Emma Ezeazu Centre for Accountability and Good Governance (EECentre); Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, Yiaga Africa; Partners West Africa, Nigeria (PWAN), Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) and Gender Development Initiative, among others.