By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the Anambra Governorship poll for Nov. 6.
INEC disclosed the date in a Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye on Tuesday in Abuja.
Okoye said that the commission met on Tuesday, and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the issuance of the timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of the governorship election.
He said that party primaries and resolution of disputes arising from the primaries would take place between June 10 and July 1.
“By 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), 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.
“Constitutionally and statutorily, the tenure of the governor of Anambra will expire on March 17, 2022 and the earliest date for the Election into the office of Governor, Anambra, shall be Oct. 18, 2021 and the latest date for the election shall be Feb. 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, INEC has fixed Nov. 6 as the date for the conduct of the Anambra Governorship election.
“Consequently, the Commission hereby issues the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election.
“By the timetable and schedule of activities, the commission will issue the statutory Notice for Election on June 9.
“The Collection of Forms EC9 (Formerly CF001) and EC9B (Formerly CF002) for the election will take place on June 10, and the conduct of party primaries and resolution of disputes arising from the primaries will take place from June 10 to July 1,” he said.
Okoye said that the particulars of the candidates for the election would be published on July 16, while parties would commence campaigns on Aug. 8.
“The final list of nominated candidates will be published on Oct. 7,” he said.
Okoye enjoined all registered political parties to pay close attention to the timelines and schedule of activities outlined in the timetable and schedule of activities as they were constitutional and statutorily provisions.
“We also enjoin 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.
“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,” he said.
The national commissioner urged all stakeholders to support the commission’s efforts to strengthen the electoral process, including the deployment of technology to deliver free, fair and credible elections.(NAN)