Nigeria: Ondo - APC, PDP, 15 Others Adopt Indirect Primaries

Abuja, Akure — 10 ruling party aspirants threaten boycott

Ahead of the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that 17 political parties have adopted indirect primary election in picking their candidates for the election.INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Mr. Festus Okoye, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the end of the weekly regular meeting of the commission.

"A total of 17 of the 18 registered political parties notified the commission of their intention to conduct party primaries for the Ondo Governorship election fixed for 10th October 2020. Only the Boot Party did not give any notification of its intention to conduct primaries for the Ondo Governorship election.

He added that by Section 87 (2) of the Electoral Act, political parties have the exclusive discretion to determine the procedure for the nomination of candidates which shall be by direct or indirect primaries, and that all the 17 political parties notified the commission of their intention to conduct indirect primaries for the nomination of their candidates.

He reminded the political parties that they were required to submit a comprehensive list of all the delegates eligible to participate in the primaries at least seven days before the scheduled date.

On the coming Edo State governorship election, Okoye said 14 political parties conducted primaries and nominated their candidates for the governorship election holding on September 19.

He said that going by the timetable and schedule of activities for the election, campaign by political parties in public commenced on 21st June 2020 and ends on 17th September 2010, which is 24 hours before polling day as enshrined in Section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as emended).

However, a factional chairman of the ruling APC in Ondo State, Hon Henry Olu Olatuja, has warned that 10 out of 12 governorship aspirants may boycott the July 20 primary election if the party settled for indirect mode of ballot.

Olatuja, who addressed a press conference, yesterday, at the APC national secretariat in Abuja along with his factional state secretary, Barrister Akin Ogunsakin, warned against alleged divisive influence of Governors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in the state chapter of the party.

He said his faction had earlier intimated the current leadership of the party of petitions before the recently dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) and the pending suit, No. FHC/AK/CS/10/2019, challenging the process and the outcome of congresses held by the faction of the State Executive Committee of APC in Ondo led by Mr. Ade Adetimehin from the ward level to the state for non-compliance substantially with the congress guidelines as laid down by the party.

Meanwhile, the speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, has asked the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Oluwatoyin Olaranwaju Akeredolu, to set up a seven-man panel to investigate notice of gross misconduct levelled against the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.

A total of 14 lawmakers had on Tuesday signed an impeachment notice against Ajayi.

The speaker said the setting up of the panel was in line with section 188 (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

However, nine lawmakers who are opposing the planned impeachment of the deputy governor, have sent a letter to the state chief judge, distancing themselves from the impeachment exercise.

In the letter dated 9th July, 2020, the lawmakers said they had duly disassociated themselves from the ongoing impeachment process.

The move to impeach Ajayi followed his defection to the PDP from APC to contest the governorship election.

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