The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has informed the political parties interested in the gubernatorial elections in Edo State that they have 10 days to hold their primary election.
The Chairman of the Election Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement on Wednesday 17 June during a meeting of the Interinstitutional Advisory Committee on Elections.
Mahmood stated that INEC will not extend the deadline for political parties that fail to submit the names of their candidates for election.
“All political parties interested in fielding candidates for the election are reminded that they must complete their pre-election process for nominating candidates in the next ten days,” Yakubu said.
“The deadline is Saturday, June 27, 2020. I must emphasize that the date is fixed and fixed. There will be no extension of the deadline.
“While the conduct of the primaries and the nomination of candidates will be the sole responsibility of the political parties, our officials will monitor the primaries as required by law.
“Based on our experience in managing the nomination of candidates for the last two gubernatorial elections in the states of Bayelsa and Kogi, it is important to draw the attention of the political parties to the four mandatory requirements for eligibility of candidates for the gubernatorial elections set out in Section 177 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“A candidate nominated by a political party must be a Nigerian citizen by birth, have reached the age of thirty-five (35) years, be a member of and sponsored by a political party, and have at least a high school diploma or equivalent education.
“Compliance with these clear constitutional provisions is mandatory in order to avoid unnecessary litigation after the nomination of candidates, some of whom are still pending before the courts”.
Security authorities and other stakeholders were also urged to act proactively to protect those involved in the election.
The INEC Chairman added
“We need to secure the process and protect all parties involved such as voters, INEC officials, observers, the media and even some of the unarmed security personnel deployed in the polling stations. This requires our professionalism and neutrality”.