By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has warned the 15 political parties that have informed it of its primary elections that the Commission would not shift from its earlier proposed June 29 date for submission of names of their governorship candidates for the September 19 election in Edo state
INEC therefore reiterated that it will not accept candidate nominated by any political party beyond the 6:00pm, Monday June 29, 2020 submission deadline.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who handed the warning in his remarks during the second virtual Consultative meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday, urging the parties to avoid tendencies that can lead to litigations in the conducted primaries, adding that all party candidates must meet up with the Commission’s qualification mark, which among others, includes that the candidate must be a Nigerian citizen by birth; must have attained the age of 35 years; must be a member of, and sponsored by, a political party; and must be educated up to at least School Certificate level or equivalent.
“The fact that this is our second meeting in less than two weeks underscores our commitment to the security of the forthcoming Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States as well as the increasing number of off-cycle elections across the country. Therefore, as we work towards the two Governorship elections, we should equally prepare for six Senatorial and five State Assembly bye-elections across nine States of the Federation.
“At our last meeting, we agreed that the Co-Chairmen of ICCES (i.e. the Chairman INEC and the National Security Adviser) should prepare and circulate a draft Code of Conduct for security personnel on election duty based on the report of the Special Committee earlier set up to ensure collaboration and synergy in the deployment of security agencies for elections.
“Turning to the Edo governorship election, all political parties interested in fielding candidates for the election are reminded that they must conclude their primaries for the nomination of candidates in the next 10 days. The deadline is Saturday June 27, 2020. I must stress that the date is firm and fixed. There will be no extension of the deadline. While the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates will be the sole responsibility of political parties, our officials will monitor the primaries as required by law.
“Already, the Commission has published the date and mode of primaries for each of the 15 political parties that indicated their intention to participate in the election. Similarly, there will be no extension of time for political parties that fail to submit the names and other details of the candidates that emerge from their primaries using the dedicated portal created by the Commission. For emphasis, the deadline is 6:00pm on Monday June 29, 2020.”Professor Yakubu warned