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INEC chair to political parties: Avoid parallel primaries, adhere strictly to schedules

INEC chair to political parties: Avoid parallel primaries, adhere strictly to schedules
March 19
14:11 2024

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked political parties to adhere strictly to the dates of their primaries.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, spoke on Tuesday at a consultative meeting with political parties at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

The meeting focused on the off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states scheduled for September 21 and November 16 respectively.

Yakubu said while primaries for the Edo election have been concluded, only six parties have uploaded their nominations to the portal.


“The portal opened on 4th March 2024 and will automatically shut down at 6pm on Saturday 24th March 2024. 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,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

The chairman urged political parties to “adhere strictly to your proposed dates and modes of primaries” as frequent changes are “not only disruptive but costly”.

He said INEC cannot mobilise, demobilise and remobilise its 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.


“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.”


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