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INEC declares no face-mask, no voting at Ondo, Edo polls

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Commission expresses worry over APC, PDP campaign tactics
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged political parties contesting for the Ondo and Edo governorship elections to comply with the commission’s policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It noted that political parties must observe all the health protocols and guidelines made available to them by the commission, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the state government.

It also said they that must enforce the policy of no face-mask, no voting during their primaries.”

Meanwhile, the commission has expressed concern over campaign tactics employed by major political parties fielding candidates for the September 19, 2020 Edo governorship election.

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The INEC, in a statement signed yesterday by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said political parties must conduct issue-based campaigns in accordance with the regulations and guidelines issued by the commission.

He added that the parties should appeal to their supporters to shun inflammatory rhetoric and disruptive behaviour capable of breaching the peace of their states.

Okoye, who noted that the Edo poll is an opportunity for the people of the state to choose among the 14 candidates in the contest, said: “The commission is concerned that as campaigns begin, campaign councils rather than candidates and party manifestoes are taking centre stage. The election should be a contest of ideas and programmes for the people of Edo to make informed decisions for the development of their state.”

On the Ondo governorship election, Okoye said that only the Boot Party did not give any notification of its intention to conduct primaries, adding that all the 17 parties have notified the commission of their intention to conduct indirect primaries for the nomination of their candidates.

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

“The INEC’s portal for uploading nomination forms will open on July 21, and close on at 6:00 p.m. on July 28, 2020,” he said.

We urge political parties not to wait till the last day before submitting the names of their nominated candidates.

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