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16 political parties for 2024 Ondo guber election —INEC, warns on primaries

By: Our Reporter

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on tuesday declared that 16 out of 19 registered political parties have indicated interest in contesting this year’s November 16 governorship election in Ondo State.

Speaking at The First Regular Quarterly Consultative Meeting With Political Parties For 2024 Held At The Inec Conference Room, Abuja, on tuesday 19th March 2024

Prof Yakubu said, “for the Ondo State Governorship election, party primaries begin in the next two weeks on 6th April 2024 and ends three weeks later on 27th April 2024. So far, 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 mobilise, demobilise and remobilise 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,” he said.

Below is the full text of his address;

REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN, INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC), PROF. MAHMOOD YAKUBU, AT THE FIRST REGULAR QUARTERLY CONSULTATIVE MEETING WITH POLITICAL PARTIES FOR 2024 HELD AT THE INEC CONFERENCE ROOM, ABUJA, ON TUESDAY 19TH MARCH 2024

  1. It is my pleasure to welcome you to our first regular quarterly consultative meeting for this year. This is also our first meeting since the election of a new leadership for the umbrella body of political parties in Nigeria, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC). It is therefore appropriate on this occasion to congratulate the new Chairman of IPAC who is also the Chairman of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), Yusuf Dantalle, and other officials of the Council on their election. The Commission looks forward to working with you harmoniously in the best interest of our electoral democracy of which political parties are a strong pillar for elective representation.
  2. Furthermore, today’s meeting is the first since the conclusion of the bye-elections and Court-ordered re-run elections held last month in 26 States of the Federation. With the exception of two constituencies in Enugu and Kano States, winners have emerged from the bye-elections and rerun elections. Again, like the 2023 General Election, the recent bye-elections and re-run elections also produced the most diverse outcome in terms of party representation. Seven political parties won elections in different National and State Assembly constituencies.

In some cases, parties won elections in constituencies outside their assumed strongholds. We congratulate the winners. However, as you are aware, elections were disrupted by thugs in Enugu South 1 State Constituency of Enugu State and Kunchi/Tsanyawa State Constituency of Kano State. We are engaging with stakeholders, including the security agencies. Very soon, a new date will be announced for the re-run elections in the two State constituencies.

  1. The main focus of today’s meeting is the off-cycle Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States. As you are aware, the two elections are holding later this year. The Edo State Governorship election is holding in the next six months i.e. Saturday 21st September 2024 while the Ondo State Governorship election is holding in eight months i.e. Saturday 16thNovember 2024.
  2. 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 6pm on Saturday 24thMarch 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 publish the personal particulars of candidates (Form EC9) on 31st March 2024 as required by law.

  1. For the Ondo State Governorship election, party primaries begin in the next two weeks on 6thApril 2024 and ends three weeks later on 27thApril 2024. So far, 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 mobilise, demobilise and remobilise 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.

  1. 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.
  2. On this note, I once again welcome you to this meeting and wish to reassure you of the continued cooperation and support of the Commission within the ambit of the law.
  3. I thank you and God bless.

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