The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned political parties against arbitrary change in delegates lists, date or venue of primaries for Edo governorship election.
The commission said this in statement by Mr Sam Olumekun, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee in Abuja on Thursday.
Olumekun said that INEC had released the timetable and schedule of activities for the governorship election, which included party primaries from Feb. 1 to Feb. 24.
He said that by virtue of Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, political parties were required to give the Commission at least 21 days notice before the date of their primaries.
Olumekun said that as at Feb. 4 which was the last date for such notification, 16 political parties had notified INEC 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,” he said.
Olumekun said that the schedule of primaries proposed by the political parties had been uploaded to INEC’s website and social media platforms for public information.
It was reported that from the schedule of congresses/primaries for primaries released by INEC the All Progressives Congress (APC) would hold its ward congresses on Feb. 12 and its primaries on Feb. 17, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would hold its primaries for Feb. 24.
Also the Labour Party (LP) would hold its primaries for Feb. 22, while Social Democratic party (SDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP) would hold their primaries on Feb. 24.
The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) would hold its primaries on Feb. 23, while the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) would hold its primaries on Feb. 18.