THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday, rejected the submission of governorship candidates by seven political parties in different states of the federation.
According to INEC bulletin made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Monday, gave the names of parties and the states affected as follow: Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) in Delta state; Labour Party (LP) in Niger State; New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Ogun State; Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in Oyo State; United Democratic Party (UDP) in Rivers State and the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) in Sokoto and Zamfara states, respectively.
In a decision extract issued and signed by the Director (Commission’s Secretariat), Ishiaku Gali, the commission had also approved that the House of Representatives election in Ado/Opoku/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, being uncontested, the nominated candidate should be declared elected on the day of the election by the Returning Officer.
INEC disclosed that its decision was in line with section 187 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which “provides that a candidate to the office of a governor shall not be deemed to be validly nominated for such office, unless he appoints another candidate as his running mate who shall occupy the office of deputy governor.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, on Monday, warned Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to remain non-partisan and ensure credible elections next month.
Jega, who handed the warning to the RECs at his quarterly meeting with them, declared that there was need to ensure that “they conduct, free fair and credible elections in the forthcoming general election.”
According to him, “we have to have this meeting, because it is important as we approach 2015 elections that we put head together and review where we are and so that we can take stock as we prepare adequately for the very daunting and challenging task ahead.