By Andy Chukwu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced plans for the upcoming Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, which will hold simultaneously in the two States on November 16.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, on Monday during a meeting with political parties to review the 2019 general elections, announced the release of the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections.
Party primaries are scheduled to hold from August 18 to September 5.
“The conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates must be transparent and democratic in accordance with the provisions of Sec. 87 of the Electoral Act as well as our regulations and guidelines,” he said.
He said the Commission expects strict compliance by all parties that wish to nominate candidates for the elections. No nomination arising from primaries conducted after the deadline will be accepted by the Commission.
Yakubu said so far only three political parties have given notices indicating the dates for their primaries for both Bayelsa and Kogi Governorship elections.
“The Commission once again reminds party leaders to do the needful. In doing so, you should indicate not only the dates but also venues and time for the primaries,” he urged.
“I urge you to avoid persistent rescheduling of your primaries or late minute change of venue which sometimes disenfranchise your members and make effective monitoring by the Commission difficult. Where political parties opt for direct primaries, there should be proper register of members otherwise it will amount to conducting an election without the voters’ register.