The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has advised political parties ahead of future elections in the country.
He urged them to shun acts that could lead to situations where the courts would be the ones to determine the outcomes of the forthcoming elections.
Professor Yakubu gave the advice when he met with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the INEC headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively, he decried the recent litigations which resulted in the Supreme Court determining the winners of the polls in some states.
“The end of tenure governorship elections in Edo and Ondo are holding later in the year.
“Given recent experience with some governorship elections, political parties need to do more to avoid the conduct of acrimonious primaries or failure to observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates, resulting in protracted litigations and eventual determination of the outcome of elections by orders of the court,” the INEC boss said.
He warned that the court might have to decide the outcomes of the polls should political parties continue to conduct inappropriate party primaries and poor screening of their nominated candidates that could lead to protracted litigations.
Professor Yakubu, therefore, asked the political parties to be mindful of the “two critical dates” in the timetable released by INEC recently.
He said, “Party primaries for the democratic election and nomination of candidates for the Governorship election in Edo State must be held from June 2-27,” adding, “The date for Ondo State is July 2-25.”
The INEC boss warned that the commission would not extend the dates.
“We will also rigorously monitor the primaries and where necessary, apply sanctions as provided by law,” he stressed.