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Nigeria: ruling party Suspends Primaries, Congresses

Sequel to the proposal by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2011 general elections to be postponed, the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended its scheduled congresses and primaries.

    The NWC presided over by the national chairman of the party, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo rose from its weekly meeting yesterday and suspended the congresses and primaries due to commence this weekend with the Ward and Local Government congresses.

    National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali said yesterday that despite the party decision, that the sale of nomination forms for the various elective offices would continue.

    The party said that new dates for its congresses and primaries would be announced in due course.

    The party’s terse statement reads as follows; “The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has directed the suspension of all Congresses and Primaries scheduled to commence this weekend till further notice

    “Rising from its meeting held on Wednesday 22nd September, 2010 the NWC said this action has become necessary in view of the joint decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all Political Parties at their meeting yesterday.

    “Nigerians will recall that INEC and the parties agreed to a shift of the earlier advertised dates for electioneering activities.

    “However, the sale and return of Expression of Interest Forms and Nomination Forms shall continue as earlier announced. New dates for all PDP Primaries and Congresses shall be communicated in due course.”

    INEC had on Monday, met with the leadership of the registered political parties in the country, where they reached an agreement to postpone the elections from January to March/April next year, if the National Assembly amended the Electoral Act 2010.