The national chairman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, has said that the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the electoral timetable was an initiative of the political parties and not the commission as speculated in some quarters.
The ZLP national chairman also added that it was not done to favour the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) adding that all the political parties including the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which concluded its presidential primaries was part of the decision.
Recall that INEC shifted the deadline for parties to hold primaries from June 3 to June 9, after it insisted that it would not adjust it.
But Nwanyanwu, who threw his weight behind the shift of the timetable added that it has afforded parties ample time to adjust their programmes ahead of the new deadline.
He said it is not true that INEC attempted to manipulate the electoral process by deciding to alter the timetable, noting that the PDP which went ahead with its primaries elected not to postpone it.
Nwanyanwu who revealed that he was the brain behind the timetable adjustment said after he called the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) chairman to initiate fresh talks with INEC after he (Nwanyanwu) noticed the window between June 4 and June 10 that could be used by parties to tidy their documents for the election.
“We do not speak for INEC but the attack on INEC that it manipulated the process is not true because we are involved.”
He added, “We saw a window on the 4th of June which is the end of primaries and 9th or 10th of June.
“I called the IPAC chairman and told him about it. All the political parties were happy. So we called INEC. We dragged INEC into this. It had no hand in it. If there are no political parties there will be no INEC. INEC has no business in this. It is the child of IPAC.
“We thought of it, pushed it through and we got it without prejudice to any party. The adjustment was not intended to reverse anything,” Nwanyanwu said, adding that PDP was aware of the decision.
“It elected not to shift its primaries. They went ahead with the primaries and there is no problem with them. We are not working for APC. We couldn’t have worked for APC,” Nwanyanwu added.