By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC said 17 out of the nation’s 18 political parties have disclosed of their intentions to conduct indirect primary election in picking their candidates ahead of the October 10 Governorship election in Ondo state.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday said the commission had also met to consider its preparations for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
According to him, two political parties, the All Progressives Congress APC and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, have conducted their primaries and nominated candidates using the dedicated portal for the Nasarawa Central State Constituency bye-election.
“The personal particulars, including academic qualifications of the candidates, have been pasted in the INEC Nasarawa Local Government Area (LGA) office in Nasarawa State and uploaded on the Commission’s website”, he said.
“A total of 17 of the 18 registered Political Parties notified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of their intention to conduct party primaries for the Ondo Governorship election fixed for 10th October 2020. Only the Boot Party did not give any notification of its intention to conduct primaries for the Ondo Governorship election.
“This is in compliance with section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act, which makes it mandatory for registered Political Parties to give the Commission at least 21 days’ notice of any Congress or meeting convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act. Details of the political parties and their calendar of Congresses/Primaries (including dates and modes of primaries) have been published on the Commission’s website and social media platforms.
“By Section 87 (2) of the Electoral Act, Political Parties have the exclusive discretion to determine the procedure for the nomination of candidates which shall be by Direct or Indirect primaries and all the 17 Political Parties notified the Commission of their intention to conduct Indirect Primaries for the nomination of their candidates.
“Political Parties are reminded that they are required to submit a comprehensive list of all the delegates eligible to participate in the primaries at least 7 days before the scheduled date.
“The INEC portal for uploading nomination forms will open on 21st July and close on at 6pm on 28th July 2020. We urge Political Parties not to wait till the last day before submitting the names of their nominated candidates as
“Political Parties must observe all the health protocols and guidelines made available to them by the Commission, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the State Government. They must also enforce the policy of ‘No Mask, No Voting’ in their primaries”, INEC added.