The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Kwara State, Malam Garba Madami, has warned political parties against conducting their primary elections outside designated constituencies.
The REC gave the warning on Wednesday in Ilorin at a stakeholders’ meeting with political parties, INEC Electoral Officers in the 16 local government areas and Commissioner of Police.
Madami said: “As required by law, the Commission shall monitor the primaries of each political party that provides the required legal notice in line with Sections 82 (1) and (5) of the Electoral Act.
“Failure of a political party to notify the Commission of any convention or congress convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act shall render the convention or congress invalid.”
He added that primaries must be conducted in the various constituencies as provided in Section 84 of the Electoral Act.
According to the REC, it is a violation of the law to conduct primaries outside the constituencies for which parties are nominating candidates.
Madami declared that the commission would not monitor such primaries conducted outside the constituency and their outcome will not be accepted.
“Political parties are enjoined to avoid acrimonious primaries that could result in unnecessary litigations that may lead to failure to nominate, and field candidates for elections in some constituencies,” he advised.
The REC therefore enjoined political parties to adhere strictly to the principles of internal democracy drawn from their constitutions, guidelines, the Electoral Act, and other guidelines and regulations issued by INEC.
“Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of the Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidates shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue,” the REC said.
He however commended political parties in Kwara State for their cooperation and assured them that the commission was ready to conduct peaceful, fair and acceptable elections in 2023.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the stakeholders’ meeting was attended by representatives of 11 political parties, electoral officers and the Commissioner of Police in Kwara State.