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Published On: Thu, Jul 9th, 2020

Ondo guber: PDP, APC, 15 others notify INEC of plans to hold primaries

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….All settle for indirect primary

…..INEC counsels parties on issues based campaigns

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

Seventeen out of the 18 registered Political Parties in the country have notified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of their intention to conduct party primaries for the Ondo governorship election fixed for 10th October 2020.
Only the Boot Party did not give any notification of its intention to conduct primaries for the said election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, confirmed this in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman,Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye after the Commission’s regular weekly meeting in Abuja.
This, INEC pointed out, is in compliance with section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act, which makes it mandatory for registered Political Parties to give the Commission at least 21 days’ notice of any Congress or meeting convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act.
The Commission explained that details of the political parties and their calendar of Congresses/Primaries (including dates and modes of primaries) have been published on it’s website and social media platforms.
The Commission however reminded the political parties that they are required to submit a comprehensive list of all the delegates eligible to participate in the primaries at least 7 days before the scheduled date.
The INEC press statement reads in part, “A total of 17 of the 18 registered Political Parties notified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of their intention to conduct party primaries for the Ondo Governorship election fixed for 10th October 2020.
“Only the Boot Party did not give any notification of its intention to conduct primaries for the Ondo Governorship election.
“This is in compliance with section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act, which makes it mandatory for registered Political Parties to give the Commission at least 21 days’ notice of any Congress or meeting convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act.
“Details of the political parties and their calendar of Congresses/Primaries (including dates and modes of primaries) have been published on the Commission’s website and social media platforms.
“By Section 87 (2) of the Electoral Act, Political Parties have the exclusive discretion to determine the procedure for the nomination of candidates which shall be by Direct or Indirect primaries and all the 17 Political Parties notified the Commission of their intention to conduct Indirect Primaries for the nomination of their candidates.
“Political Parties are reminded that they are required to submit a comprehensive list of all the delegates eligible to participate in the primaries at least 7 days before the scheduled date.
“The INEC portal for uploading nomination forms will open on 21st July and close on at 6pm on 28th July 2020. We urge Political Parties not to wait till the last day before submitting the names of their nominated candidates as
“Political Parties must observe all the health protocols and guidelines made available to them by the Commission, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the State Government. They must also enforce the policy of “No Mask, No Voting” in their primaries”, it said.
On the issue of the Nasarawa Central State Constituency bye-election, the Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu- INEC said that
two political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have conducted their primaries and nominated candidates using the dedicated portal for the Nasarawa Central State Constituency bye-election. “The personal particulars, including academic qualifications of the candidates have been pasted in the INEC Nasarawa Local Government Area (LGA) office in Nasarawa State and uploaded on the Commission’s website”, it said.
The Commission further reminded the
political parties that, in canvassing for votes, they must comply with its (the Commission’s) policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as the Regulations and Guidelines governing same.
“They must also comply with the guidelines issued by health authorities”, it said.
Continuing,INEC stated, “At the same time, parties are enjoined to conduct issue-based campaigns in accordance with the Regulations and Guidelines issued by the Commission.
“They should appeal to their supporters to shun inflammatory rhetoric and disruptive behaviour capable of breaching the peace.
“The election is an opportunity for the people of Edo State to choose among the 14 candidates in the contest.
“The Commission is concerned that as campaigns begin, campaign councils rather than candidates and party manifestoes are taking centre stage. “The election should be a contest of ideas and programmes for the people of Edo to make informed decisions for the development of their State”, it said.

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