The Independent electoral commission, INEC, has approved direct primary for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to select its candidate for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
The APC headquarters had approved direct primary while the Edo chapter of the party wanted indirect primary. Direct primary involves voting by all members of the party while only delegates vote in indirect primary.
The primary is fixed for June 22 amidst the ‘rift’ between the Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his predecessor and APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Oshiomhole is believed to be supporting another APC aspirant, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for the party’s ticket.
According to an INEC statement released on Tuesday, while APC will be conducting direct primary, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 13 other parties have opted for indirect primaries.
The other parties that will conduct indirect primaries include: Action Alliance, (AA), African Action Congress, (AAC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Allied Peoples Movement, (APM), All Peoples Party (APP), Labour Party (LP), Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), National Resistance Movement, (NRM), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressive Party (YPP), and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Festus Okoye, the INEC spokesperson, appealed to the various political parties to conduct their primaries in full compliance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and Electoral Act 2010 law.
He also urged political parties to “eschew violence and conduct their activities in the best traditions of electoral democracy.”
“In accordance with Sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), 15 out of the 18 registered Political Parties have notified the Commission of their intention to conduct primaries for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Edo State Governorship election slated for 19 September 2020.
“The Commission appeals to the various Political Parties to conduct their primaries in full compliance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries (2018) and the INEC Police COVID-19 Pandemic of 21” May 2020.
“Conducting Elections in the context of political parties Parties must shun all acts capable of breaching the peace and unsettling the peace and order of the State and jeopardizing the health and safety of party members, election officials and observers.”
Mr Okoye added that the “commission will work collaboratively with all the security agencies to ensure a good electoral environment for the conduct of elections.”