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INEC warns parties against acrimonious, parallel primaries

INEC warns parties against acrimonious, parallel primaries
INEC warns parties against acrimonious, parallel primaries

On Tuesday, The Independent National Electoral Commission frowned at different infractions committed by political parties ahead of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.


The Edo State governorship election was scheduled to be held on September 21, 2024, meanwhile, the Ondo State governorship election will be held on November 16, 2024.

Senator Monday Okpebholo the representative of Edo Central Senatorial District was announced as the winner of the Edo State All Progressives Congress governorship primary election.

Olumide Akpata the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, also won the governorship primary of the Edo State Labour Party as the candidate for the party in the upcoming governorship election in the state. Asue Ighodalo emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for the upcoming Edo poll.

Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC, stated that violations like contentious primaries and the emergence of multiple candidates, among other things, result in “unnecessary” litigation among party members during the first regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja.

Yakubu asked the political parties to strictly follow the times and procedures it had suggested for the primaries.

In his statement, he said, “I urge political parties to adhere strictly to your proposed dates and modes of primaries. Frequent changes as we witnessed recently during the Edo primaries are not only disruptive but costly.

“The commission cannot mobilize, demobilize and remobilize our officials for the monitoring of party primaries at the convenience of political parties. Parties should stick to their proposed dates and modes of primaries for certainty and optimal deployment of resources.

“Similarly, political parties should avoid acrimonious primaries. Increasingly, the conduct of parallel primaries and the emergence of multiple candidates is a frequent occurrence. So too is the tendency to grant waivers to candidates who were a few days earlier card-carrying members of other political parties and nominating such persons to the commission as their candidates for election.

“Some of these infractions lead to unnecessary litigation among party members in which the commission is always joined as a party. The legal fees and cost of producing Certified True Copies of documents can be used more productively in other electoral activities by both the political parties and the commission. We must find a solution to this situation,”

The chairman went on to say that only six of the 19 parties that are running for the Edo governorship have uploaded their nominations to the website, and he issued a warning that there would be no deadline extension for the Ondo governorship.

He commented, “Already, party primaries for the Edo State Governorship election have been concluded. By the timetable and schedule of activities for the election, political parties have 20 days to upload the list and personal particulars of their candidates to our dedicated portal. We have trained party Liaison Officers and established a Help Desk for political parties. The portal opened on 4th March 2024 and will automatically shut down at 6 pm on Saturday 24th March 2024. Two weeks later, only six parties have uploaded their nominations to the portal.

“We urge you to keep to our schedule of activities and avoid last-minute rush that may undermine your ability to successfully nominate your candidates. There will be no extension of time beyond the deadline already published in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election, to enable us to publish the personal particulars of candidates (Form EC9) on 31st March 2024 as required by law.

“For the Ondo State Governorship election, party primaries begin in the next two weeks on April 6, 2024, and end three weeks later on April 27, 2024. So far, 16 out of 19 political parties have indicated interest in participating in the election.”

As for the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Yusuf Dantalle, its national chairman, announced that the body would take proactive measures to guarantee that the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States live up to the expectations of Nigerians and the world community.

Dantalle said, “There should be no excuse for poor performance.

“IPAC will constantly engage INEC and major stakeholders to ensure the success of these elections and will be there for mobilization of voters, sensitization, and monitoring of polls.”

He gave everyone his word that the council would work with political party leaders to strictly uphold internal party democracy when nominating candidates for various elective offices, “which will, in turn, reduce pre-election litigation.”

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