Ahead of the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that some political parties submitted governorship and deputy-governorship candidates that are below the minimum age prescribed by the constitution for these positions.
Under the “Not Too Young to Run Act” signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, candidates standing for governorship elections are expected to have attained the age of 35 to be eligible to contest the election.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said on Thursday in Abuja that the commission will notify the concerned parties soon and subsequently consider further action.
According to him, in accordance with the Electoral Act and in line with the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Bayelsa State and Kogi state governorship elections, INEC will on Friday 13th September 2019 publish the personal particulars of nominated candidates for the elections.
He said that the personal particulars of the nominees will be published on the notice boards of INEC offices in Yenagoa and Lokoja.
“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 of nomination at 6pm on Monday 9th September 2019.
“While some of the political 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 are male, representing 90 percent, while 10 are female, representing 10 percent of all the nominees. Of the 52 nominees for Bayelsa State, 6 are female, while 46 are male. The corresponding figures for Kogi State are 4 female and 45 male nominees,” Okoye said.
He said that 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.
He urged reminded the parties of the timelines in the Timetable and Schedule of activities and requests strict compliance with them.
Daily Trust reports that the four female winners in the Kogi State primaries are Barr. Justina Dalapo Abanida, African Democratic Congress (ADC); Mrs. Harirat M. Yakubu, Labour Party (LP); Grace Oluwatoyin Adepoju, Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN) and Barr. Natasha H. Akpoti, Social Democratic Party (SDP).