The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 16 political parties have formally informed the Commission of their desire to partake in the upcoming Edo governorship election set for September 2024.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, stated in a statement issued on Thursday that the Commission had previously released the timetable and agenda for the Edo State off-cycle gubernatorial election.
He highlighted that one of the outlined activities for the election includes the organization of primaries by political parties, slated to occur from February 1 to February 24, 2024.
Olumekun emphasized that according to Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, political parties must provide the Commission with a minimum of 21 days’ notice prior to the scheduled date for their primaries.
He added that the deadline for such notification expired on February 4, 2024.
Olumekun added: “Sixteen political parties have notified the Commission of their intention to participate in the election as well as their preferred modes and dates of primaries.
“As the Commission is set to deploy its monitoring teams, political parties are hereby reminded that Edo State is the constituency for the election. Therefore, primaries must take place within the state in line with Sections 84(4) and 5(b) of the Electoral Act 2022.”
The Commission emphasized the importance for political parties to refrain from unnecessary postponements, arbitrary changes of venues for their primaries, wholesale alterations of delegates’ lists, or the submission of names that did not arise from valid primaries as candidates for the election.
Additionally, the electoral body urged political parties to steer clear of contentious primaries that result in the disruption of law and order, often due to non-compliance with the provisions of their constitutions and guidelines.
It pointed out that these issues often lead to a significant number of pre-election litigations.
The Commission further stated that the schedules, dates, and methods of primaries proposed by the political parties have been posted on its website and social media platforms for public awareness.