The Independent National Electoral Commission has urged political parties presenting candidates for the Edo State governorship election scheduled for September 19, 2020, to conclude their primaries within the next 10 days.
The commission said the Saturday June 27 deadline for this activity remained “firm and fixed”, as there would be no extension.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this during the second virtual consultative meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, on Wednesday.
He advised political parties to abide by the four mandatory requirements for eligibility of candidates for governorship elections as contained in Section 177 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
Yakubu said, “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 6pm on Monday, June 29, 2020.”
Yakubu further said, “A candidate nominated by a political party must be a Nigerian citizen by birth; must have attained the age of 35; must be a member of and sponsored by a political party; and must be educated up to at least School Certificate level or equivalent.
“Adherence to these clear constitutional provisions is compulsory in order to avoid the unnecessary litigations that follow the nomination of candidates, some of which are still pending before the courts.”
While speaking on the role of security agencies, he said, “We must safeguard the process and protect all those involved as voters, INEC officials, observers, the media and even some of the unarmed security personnel deployed in the polling units. Doing so requires our professionalism and neutrality.”