The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday released the guidelines for the Anambra State governorship elections, declaring that the election will hold on November 6 this year.
The commission also released the timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of the governorship election.
According to a statement by the INEC's National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye, the electoral body said that the guidelines and schedule of activities is in line with the virtue of Section 178(1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 25(7) & (8) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
He said that by the constitutional provisions, the election into the office of a state governor shall hold not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of the office.
Okoye stated that constitutionally "the tenure of the Governor of Anambra State will expire on the March 17, 2022 and the earliest date for the election into the office of Governor, Anambra State, shall be October 18, 2021 and the latest date for the election shall be February 15, 2022."
"In the exercise of the powers conferred on it by the Constitution, the Electoral Act and all other powers enabling it in that regard, the commission has fixed 6th November 2021 as the date for the conduct of the Anambra State governorship election. "Consequently, the commission hereby issues the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election," Okoye explained.
Okoye said that the commission will issue the statutory notice for election on June 9, 2021, adding that the Collection of Forms EC9 (formerly CF001) and EC9B (formerly CF002) for the election will take place on June 10, 2021 and the conduct of party primaries and resolution of disputes arising from the primaries will take place on June 10 to July 1, 2021.
"The personal particulars of the candidates will be published on July 16, 2021 and the parties will commence campaigns on August 8, 2021. The final list of nominated candidates will be published on October 7, 2021.
"The commission enjoins all the registered political parties to pay close attention to the timelines and schedule of activities outlined in the timetable and schedule of activities as they are constitutional and statutorily provisions," Okoye stated.
INEC enjoined all political parties to conduct rancour-free primaries, guarantee level-playing field for all aspirants and conduct necessary due diligence on all forms and documents that will be submitted to the commission.
Also, he said that the commission is concerned about the spate of acrimonious primaries as well as the nomination of unqualified candidates, which results in avoidable litigations, and the nullification of elections by election petition tribunals.
"We urge all the stakeholders to support the commission's efforts to strengthen the electoral process, including the deployment of technology to deliver free, fair and credible elections," Okoye said.
Also, by the notice of guidelines signed by the secretary of INEC, Mrs. Rose Orioran Anthony, the notice of election would be out on June 6, while collection of forms will commence June 10.