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Edo guber poll: INEC releases time table of activities

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..As APC commences screening of aspirants

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From Cyril Mbah, Abuja.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has 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.
A statement signed by the
National Commissioner/Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Sam Olumekun said
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 primaries.
Accordingly, the last date for such notification lapsed on 4th February 2024, according to the electoral umpire.
The statement said sixteen political parties 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,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) commenced the screening of its aspirants for the election.
Twelve aspirants for the Edo State Governorship election, who successfully returned their Nomination Forms before the deadline presenters themselves for the screening which will take place Thursday and Friday at the party Secretariat.
Prof. Toaheed Abdul Adedoja heads the screening panel while Dr. Sani Danjuma will serve as Secretary. Also, Sen. Abraham Danbaba was appointed to head the Screening Appeals Committee which has Barr. Smart Iheazor as Secretary.
Those who scaled tbe initial hurdles were Prince Clem Agba, Senator Monday Okpebholo, one-time.e Governor Lucky Imasuen, Hon. Anamero Sunday Dekeri, Pastor Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu and Engr. Gideon Ikhine. Others are Col. David Imuse (Rtd.), Gen. Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd). Sen. Oserheimen Osunbor, Blessing Agbomhere, Hon Dennis Idahosa and Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe.
In his welcome address at the inauguration of the two committees, the National Organizing Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Suleiman Mohammed Argungu urged the members to be impartial and fair to all aspirants apart from being guided by the Party’s constitution.
“In the same vein, our Party’s Constitution also gives weight to equity and restoration of rights, that is why it provides for a Screening Appeal Committee which avails aggrieved aspirants who might have been screened out at the level of the Screening Committee, to seek appellate intervention from the Screening Appeal Committee.
He assured members of the Party in Edo State and across the country that the National Chairman in concert with the entire members of the National Working Committee have ensured that those nominated into the two committees are individuals of principles and worthy values with political outstanding pedigrees.
“In other words, as a body of progressive minded people, we are proud of you as a cohort of responsible and committed Party members and, I must state that I have the go ahead of the National Chairman to on behalf of the Party to thank you and express our gratitude to you for accepting to serve your Party in this screening and screening appeal assignments. “We are, indeed, thankful to you all. As you proceed to engage with the task for which you have been nominated, please, be rest assured that we have made sure that the exercise will be hitch free and seamless with the presence of a Secretariat Support Team that will be personally led by my good self,” the APC official concluded.

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