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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has met with the National Chairmen and other leaders of political parties ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Edo and Ondo States.

The meeting, which is the second quarterly meeting for the year 2024, took place on Monday at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

In his address, the INEC boss said the electoral umpire has already published her final list of candidates and their running mates in the forthcoming Edo state election.

The INEC chairman urged all political parties to adhere strictly to all electoral guidelines for the exercise.

Mahmood also asked that parties should finalise and submit the names of their candidates before the 20th of May when the portal for candidates in the forthcoming Ondo governorship election will close.

He said: “As you are aware, the Edo State Governorship election is holding in the next four months on Saturday 21st September 2024 while the Ondo Governorship election hold in the next six months on Saturday 16th November 2024.


“The Commission has already published the final list of candidates for the Edo State Gov. election following the conclusion of party primaries & the end of the period for withdrawal & substitution of candidates as provided in the Timetable & Schedule of Activities for the election.

“Campaign in public by political parties commenced on Wednesday 24th April 2024 and will end at midnight on Thursday 19th September 2024 i.e. 24 hours before the date fixed for the election as provided by law.

“Let me therefore seize this opportunity to once again reiterate to party leaders the need to continue to maintain law and order during the electioneering process and beyond.

“As we inch closer to Election Day in Edo State, it is also imperative to remind political parties of the need to adhere strictly to the timeline for the upload of the list of polling and collation agents to the dedicated portal.

“Doing so will enable the Commission to produce and deliver the identity cards in good time for the expected 76,823 Polling Unit agents and 3,587 Ward, Local Government and State collation agents for the 17 political parties participating in the election.

“Turning to Ondo State, political parties have just concluded their primaries. Eighteen (18) political parties conducted primaries monitored by the Commission. I wish to remind you that parties have one week to the deadline for the nomination of candidates which is 6.00 pm on Monday 20th May 2024 when the portal automatically shuts down.

I urged you to adhere strictly to the deadline. Political parties have been given 23 days (over three weeks) from the end of primaries to prepare and submit the list of only two candidates (Governorship candidate and running mate) to the Commission. There will be no extension of time.

“As the elections in the two States approach, the Commission has decided to resume the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in the two States to enable eligible citizens who are not registered voters to do so. Similarly, those who are registered voters also have the opportunity to transfer their registration from other States of the federation to Edo and Ondo States or from one location to another within the two States. Let me reiterate that the CVR is only open to new registrants and those who seek to transfer their registration.

“Persons who are registered as voters should not attempt to register again as double or multiple registration is illegal. Lost or damaged voters’ cards will be replaced during the exercise but this does require fresh registration. The CVR in Edo and Ondo States will take place simultaneously from Monday 27th May 2024 to Wednesday 5th June 2024 from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm daily including the weekend.

“Taking into consideration the limited time to the Governorship elections, the Commission has decided to conduct the registration at Ward level and our State headquarters instead of our Local Government offices and a few designated centres as was the case in the past.

“This means that there will be 192 Ward registration centres in Edo State and 203 centres in Ondo State, in addition to our State offices in Benin City and Akure, making a total of 397 walk-in registration centres in the two States. There will be no online pre-registration option in the two States because of time constraints.

“The Commission therefore appeals to political parties and other stakeholders to join us in mobilising prospective registrants for the exercise, particularly on the need to register early and not wait until the deadline approaches when the registration centres are inundated by eleventh-hour registrants.

“In addition to the registration of voters, the Commission will also make available the uncollected Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for collection during the CVR. In the coming days, the list of uncollected PVCs will be published in our offices in the two States and simultaneously uploaded to our website. Again, we encourage those who have not collected their PVCs in the two States to seize the opportunity to do so.

“Before I conclude, I would also like to inform party leaders about the existence of vacancies in National and State Assemblies caused by either the death or resignation of Honourable Members in three States and one Federal constituency across the country.

“As soon as preparations are concluded, the Commission will announce the dates for bye-elections in the Khana 2 State Constituency of Rivers State, the Bagwai/Shanono State constituency of Kano State, the Zaria Kewaye State Constituency of Kaduna State and the Garki/Babura Federal Constituency of Jigawa State.”

Present at the meeting were the embattled national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, and Julius Abure of the Labour Party (PDP), among others.

While the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iliya Damagum, was represented by the national secretary, Samuel Anyanwu.

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