…no show for ADP, AAC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said it has received notifications from 16 political parties regarding their participation in the upcoming off-cycle governorship election in Edo State scheduled to take place 21 September 2024.

INEC National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, said in a statement that the political parties also notified the Commission of their preferred modes and dates of primaries.

The political parties participating in the election, according to INEC’s timetable and schedule of activities for the election released in September last year, are expected to conduct primary elections to elect their candidates between 1st and 24th February 2024.

Olumekun said by virtue of Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, political parties are mandated to give the Commission at least 21 days’ notice before the date fixed for the conduct of their primaries. Going by that, the deadline for notification expired on 4 February 2024, prompting INEC to take stock of the parties’ intentions.

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He said the schedule detailing the dates and modes of primaries proposed by the political parties has been made available to the public through INEC’s official website and social media platforms.

There are 18 registered political parties in Nigeria. Out of these, INEC listed Accord, Action Alliance (AA), African Democratic Congress (ADC), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Action Peoples Party (APP), Boot Party (BP), Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), National Rescue Movement (NRM), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) as the political parties that have notified it, according to The Nigerian Observer checks on INEC social media platforms. Two parties, Action Democratic Party (ADP) and African Action Congress (AAC), are not on the list.

Olumekun in the statement on Thursday reminded the political parties that as the Commission is set to deploy its monitoring teams, Edo State is the Constituency for the election. Therefore, in line with electoral regulations, the primaries must be conducted within Edo State itself, as stipulated in Sections 84(4) and 5(b) of the Electoral Act 2022. This geographical specification aims to ensure that the process remains transparent and accessible to all stakeholders.

“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 valid primaries as candidates for the election,” Olumekun said.

“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,” he said.