Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has promised to consider further actions against some under-age candidates ahead of Bayelsa and Kogi states governorship elections.
In the statement signed by National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the commission noted that out of the 101 nominees for the two states, 91 were male, while ten were females.
“In accordance with the Electoral Act and in line with the timetable and schedule of activities for the Bayelsa and Kogl states governorship elections, the commission will on Friday, September 13, 2019, publish the personal particulars of nominated candidates for the elections.
“The personal particulars of the nominees will be published on the notice boards of our offices in Yenagoa and Lokoja. As required by law, the commission monitored the primaries of the political parties and the list of aspirants who emerged has since been published on our website and other platforms.
“From our records, 64 political parties conducted primaries in Bayelsa State as against 59 in Kogi State. Out of these, 52 political parties for Bayelsa State and 49 for Kogi state respectively submitted the list of candidates and their personal particulars at the close nomination at 6 pm on Monday, September 9, 2019.
“While some of the parties that conducted primaries did not submit any list and personal particulars of candidates, a few failed to submit within the time limit prescribed by the commission.
“Out of the 101 nominees for the two states, 91 were males, representing 90 per cent, while ten were females, representing 10 per cent of all the nominees. Of the 52 nominees for Bayelsa State, six were females, while 46 were males. The corresponding figures for Kogi State were four females and 45 male nominees.
“The publication of the personal particulars of nominees is for members of the public to make any claims and objections regarding these candidates, as required by law.
“Similarly, the commission has observed from a preliminary review of the list and personal particulars submitted by the political parties that some of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates were below the minimum age prescribed by the constitution for these positions. The commission will notify the concerned parties soon and subsequently consider further action.
“As we continue to prepare for the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections scheduled for Saturday, November 16, 2019, the commission once more reminds the political parties of the timelines in the timetable and schedule of activities and requests strict compliance with them. We look forward to working with the parties and all stakeholders to make the forthcoming elections in the two states free, fair and credible,” the statement read.