• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Parallel primaries, parties’ infighting disruptive and costly – INEC

Parallel primaries, parties’ infighting disruptive and costly – INEC

Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, has expressed the dissatisfaction of the electoral body over the disruptive primary elections in various political parties, ahead of the September 21, 2024 governorship election in Edo State.

The INEC chief, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at the first regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties, said the electoral commission found the infighting within political parties disruptive of its activities.

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Yakubu added that the failure of the political parties to conduct non-controversial primaries is costing the commission a fortune to defend litigation and mobilising its officials.

The governorship primaries conducted by the three major political parties, the All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party; and Labour Party, were trailed with controversy.

For the APC, a second primary was conducted after the first one threw up three ‘winners’; there were two parallel primaries at the PDP, while a similar situation panned out in the Labour Party.

The INEC chairman said the electoral body found such a situation disruptive and called on political parties to adhere strictly to their proposed dates and modes of primaries.

“I urge political parties to adhere strictly to your proposed dates and modes of primaries. Frequent changes, as we witnessed recently during the Edo primaries, are not only disruptive but costly,” he said.

“The commission cannot mobilise, demobilise and remobilise our officials for the monitoring of party primaries at the convenience of political parties. Parties should stick to their proposed dates and modes of primaries for certainty and optimal deployment of resources,” he added.

Yakubu noted that these infractions lead to unnecessary litigation among party members in which the commission is always joined as a party, adding that the legal fees and cost of producing Certified True Copies of documents can be used more productively.

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The INEC chairman also complained that only six parties had uploaded the particulars of their candidates to the INEC portal with only five days left to the deadline.

Meanwhile, the INEC chief disclosed that 16 political parties had indicated interest in contesting the November 16, 2024 Ondo State governorship election.