By Nudoiba Ojen
The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Thursday, warned political parties participating in the Edo State Governorship election to steer clear of actions that could cause pre-election matters.
INEC said that 16 political parties would be fielding candidates in the September 21, 2024, Edo State governorship election.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, made the disclosure in a statement in Abuja.
Olumekun listed the parties as Accord Party, Action Alliance, African Democratic Congress, All Progressives Congress, All Progressives Grand Alliance, the Allied Peoples Movement and Action Peoples Party.
The rest are Boot Party, Labour Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party, National Rescue Movement, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Redemption Party, Social Democratic Party, Young Progressives Party, and Zenith Labour Party.
The INEC National Commissioner advised the parties to ensure that they conducted rancour-free primaries, compliant with Sections 84(4) and 5(b) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Olumekun said, “Sixteen political parties have notified the commission of their intention to participate in the election as well as their preferred modes and dates of primaries.
He said that “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 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 valid primaries as candidates for the election.
“They should also avoid rancorous primaries that can 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 litigation,” Olumekun said.
The primaries for Edo State off-cycle governorship election have to slated to hold between February 1 and 24.