INEC Issues Deadline For Submission Of Ondo Governorship Candidates

By Damilare Adeleye

The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced May 20, 2024 as deadline for political parties participating in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election to submit names of their candidates.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made this known while hosting chairmen and other leaders of political parties to a meeting at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Monday.

The national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, the Labour Party, Julius Abure, and of the Social Democratic Party, Shehu Gabam were some of the party chairmen in attendance.

Prof. Yakubu said parties are expected to 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 also urged the political parties to adhere strictly to all electoral guidelines for the exercise.

In his words: “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 6.00pm on Monday 20th May 2024 when the portal automatically shuts down. I urge 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 9.00am to 3.00pm 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 centers as was 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 constraint. Each centre will be managed by two officials drawn from our regular staff and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). In the next few days, the Commission will commence the training of at least 794 officials for the exercise. The locations of the registration centres as well as other relevant information have been compiled in a detailed 28-page document included in your folders for this meeting. The same information will be uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information shortly.

“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 death or resignation of Honourable Members in three States and one Federal constituencies across the country. As soon as preparations are concluded, the Commission will announce the dates for bye-elections in 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,” he added.