Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the reappointed Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),on Thursday said that the early passage of the Electoral Act amendment bill remained his top most priority.
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has fixed the Governorship Election in Anambra state for November 6, 2021.
The commission disclosed this in a statement issued Tuesday and signed by a National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye.
INEC said it had met earlier 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 Anambra Governorship election.
The statement reads; “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the issuance of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the Anambra Governorship election.
“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 One Hundred and Fifty (150) days and not later than thirty (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 State will expire on the 17th March 2022 and the earliest date for the election into the office of Governor, Anambra State, shall be 18th October 2021 and the latest date for the election shall be 15th February 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, the Commission has fixed 6th November 2021 as the date for the conduct of the Anambra State 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 9th June 2021. The Collection of Forms EC9 (Formerly CF001) and EC9B (Formerly CF002) for the election will take place on 10th June 2021 and the conduct of party primaries and resolution of disputes arising from the primaries will take place on 10th June -1st July 2021. The Personal Particulars of the candidates will be published on 16th July 2021 and the parties will commence campaigns on 8th August 2021. The Final List of Nominated Candidates will be published on 7th October 2021.
“The Commission enjoins all the registered political parties to pay close attention to the timelines and schedule of activities outlined in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities as they are 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.
“We urge all the stakeholders to support the Commission’s efforts to strengthen the electoral process, including the deployment of technology to deliver free, fair and credible elections”.