The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Edo State, Johnson Alalibo, said nine political parties have so far concluded their party primaries and set to contest the forthcoming governorship election scheduled for September 19 in the state.
Alalibo disclosed this on Thursday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, venue for the People’s Democratic Party’s primaries in Benin.
Alalibo, who was at the stadium to monitor the the PDP primaries, stated that about 15 political parties notified the commission to field candidates for the governorship election in the state
He said: “Out of the 15 political parties, about nine would have at the end of today concluded their primaries and set for the election.
“Some of the parties are the Zenith labour party, All Progressives Congress and hopefully the Peoples Democratic party at the end of the primary today among others.
“INEC is empowered by the law to monitor any election in the state, hence my presence here today.
“So far, the process is very satisfactory in the sense that the conduct of the primary is in line with the electoral law and guidelines of the COVID-19 measures against the pandemic.
“The commission is ready and working hard to ensure that the election is held in a peaceful environment.”
On the plethora of cases in court, the INEC REC said the cases would be decided by the courts, adding that election agency was committed to obeying court orders.
Alalibo further explained that in order to ensure free and fair election, the commission had constituted an Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security at the headquarters.
He said: “The committee has come up with new security guidelines on elections and it has been adopted last week.
“At the state level we are to start ICCES meetings hopefully by next week and all the security agencies and INEC are members of the committee, but the lead security agency is the Nigerian Police Force.
“A new policy within the context of COVID-19 has been put in place for the conduct of the election amid pandemic.
“We are not going to update the voter register
“We are reverting back to the register we used in conducting the 2019 election.