The All Progressives Congress (APC) remained the odd party in the list of fifteen political parties that have indicated their interest to field candidates for the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.
Whereas all the other parties opted to use the indirect mode of primary to select their flag bearer, the governing party opted for direct primary.
And this is in spite of repeated appeals by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for political parties to consider the Heath of their members in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.
This was gleaned from timetable of scheduled primaries of the political parties, released on Tuesday by INEC’s Commissioner and chairman Information and voter education, Festus Okoye.
The commission which met virtually said it considered several issues including the conduct of political party primaries for the Edo State Governorship election scheduled for 19 September 2020 as well as an update on the prosecution of electoral offenders.
INEC said it has received notification from 15 out of the 18 registered Political Parties of their intention to conduct primaries “for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Edo State Governorship election slated for 19 September 2020”.
Of all the political parties, only APC adopted direct primary.
It warned the parties to adhere strictly to the law and COVID-19 policy.
” The Commission appeals to the various Political Parties to conduct their primaries in full compliance with the provisions of the I999 Constitution and Electoral Act 20l0 (as amended). Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries (2018) and the INEC Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of COVlD-IQ Pandemic.
“Political Parties must shun all acts capable of breaching the peace and unsettling the peace and order of the State and jeopardizing the health and safety of party members, election officials and observers.
On prosecution of election offenders, INEC said it has received 16 files arising from infractions of the law during the 2019 general election and vowed to vigorously prosecute them.
“The cases are in Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Gombe, Kogi, Lagos, and Niger States, ranging from snatching and destruction of election materials, disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of ballot papers and Permanent Voters‘Cards to canvassing for votes at polling units on election day”.