The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged political parties against the postponement of their party primaries for the upcoming Edo State governorship primaries.
This was as the commission reminded the parties that the primaries must take place within February 1 and 24 as stipulated by law.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Sam Olumekun, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
The statement read, “It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Edo State off-cycle Governorship election. Among the activities listed for the election is the conduct of primaries by political parties scheduled for 1st – 24th February 2024.
“By virtue of Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, political parties are required to give the Commission at least 21 days notice before the date fixed for the conduct of their primaries. The last date for such notification lapsed on 4th February 2024.
“Sixteen (16) 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.
“Parties are urged to avoid unnecessary postponement, arbitrary changes of venues of their primaries, wholesale change of delegates’ list or the submission of names that did not emerge from vaild primaries as candidates for the election. They should also avoid rancorous primaries that lead to the breakdown of law and order often as a result of non-adherence to the provision of their constitutions and guidelines. These are some of the issues that lead to a large number of pre-election litigations.
“The schedule (dates and modes) of primaries proposed by the political parties has been uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms for public information. “