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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given political parties 10 days to conduct their primary election for the Edo state governorship poll, Cable News reports.

Speaking at the inter-agency consultative committee on election on Wednesday, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said the deadline will not be extended after June 27.

TheCable had reported that only 15 political parties indicated interest in the September 19 election.

“All political parties interested in fielding candidates for the election are reminded that they must conclude their primaries for the nomination of candidates in the next ten days,” Yakubu said.

“The deadline is Saturday, 27th June, 2020. I must stress that the date is firm and fixed. There will be no extension of the deadline.

“While the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates will be the sole responsibility of political parties, our officials will monitor the primaries as required by law.”

He also said the commission will not extend the deadline for political parties that fail to submit the names of the candidates for the election.

“Arising from our experience in managing the nomination of candidates for the last two governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, it is important to draw the attention of political parties to the four mandatory requirements for eligibility of candidates for governorship elections enshrined in Section 177 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended),” he said.

“A candidate nominated by a political party must be a Nigerian citizen by birth; must have attained the age of thirty-five (35) years; must be a member of, and sponsored by, a political party; and must be educated up to at least school certificate level or equivalent.

“Adherence to these clear constitutional provisions is compulsory in order to avoid the unnecessary litigation that follow the nomination of candidates, some of which are still pending before the courts.”

The INEC chairman urged security agencies and other stakeholders to be proactive during the election.

“We must safeguard the process and protect all those involved as voters, INEC officials, observers, the media and even some of the unarmed security personnel deployed to the polling units,” he said, adding that “doing so requires our professionalism and neutrality.”

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