APC lacks power to pressurise INEC to extend deadline for party primaries – Sen Bamidele


 

Amidst criticisms of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for extending the deadline for party primaries, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (MOB), has dismissed insinuation that his party pressurised the commission to shift grounds on the date.

Recall that INEC, after meeting with political party stakeholders, approved an extension of the date for the conduct of party primaries to June 9.

Bamidele, who doubles as Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, explained that the electoral umpire only yielded to the pressure mounted by political parties on the matter.

His reactions came shortly after he secured a second term ticket through affirmation with 275 delegate votes.

Addressing reporters after being declared winner of the primary at Aramoko Ekiti, headquarters of the Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Bamidele pledged a better and more robust deal for his constituents, if re-elected in 2023.

“The extension order was taken by INEC and not President Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari didn’t order it. The commission based its justification on the pressure mounted by all political parties that there should be extension of time to which they can conduct their primaries.

“With the extension, all the parties,including the APC and other opposition can prepare ahead and do due diligence in electing their candidates.

“The APC Presidential primary is now pushed to next week and this was done because of the extension and other parties will enjoy the same privilege. To me, the extension is a welcome development”, he said.

In his acceptance speech, the serving Senator, said returning him unopposed as the party’s candidate represented highest regard and respect, that he won’t take for granted.

Bamidele said the party having overcome its primaries should now focus attention on how to win the June 18 election for the APC candidate, Hon. Biodun Oyebanji, describing this as the best way to solidify the legacy already built by Governor Kayode Fayemi.

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