INEC Keen To Adapt By Timetable in Offcycle Elections

Ahead of the off-cycle governorship elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has reiterated that it will not extend the deadline already published in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election.

This was stated by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday at the first regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties.

It did this to inform parties hoping to run for governor of Edo state in September that it would not be extending the deadline for submitting their nominees’ nominations.

Six parties have reportedly submitted their nominations thus far, according to the commission.

Yakubu said; “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”.

Speaking on the Ondo State Governorship election, he said party primaries begin in the next two weeks on 6th April 2024, and end three weeks later on 27th April 2024.

He revealed that 16 out of 19 political parties have indicated interest in participating in the election.

“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 litigations among party members in which the Commission is always joined as a party. The legal fees and cost of producing Certified True Copies CTCs 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”,  he added.

The Edo State Governorship election has been slated to be held on Saturday 21st September 2024, while the Ondo State Governorship election is to be held on Saturday 16th November 2024.

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