Electoral activities heralding the next gubernatorial election in Anambra state will commence in June as the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC fixes Governorship Election for November 6, 2021. In a statement on Tuesday signed by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, INEC said it had met and deliberated
Electoral activities heralding the next gubernatorial election in Anambra state will commence in June as the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC fixes Governorship Election for November 6, 2021.
In a statement on Tuesday signed by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, INEC said it had met and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the issuance of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the Anambra Governorship election.
“By the Timetable and Schedule of Activities, the Commission will issue the statutory Notice for Election on 9th June 2021. The Collection of Forms EC9 (Formerly CF001) and EC9B (Formerly CF002) for the election will take place on 10th June 2021 and the conduct of party primaries and resolution of disputes arising from the primaries will take place on 10th June -1st July 2021. The Personal Particulars of the candidates will be published on 16th July 2021 and the parties will commence campaigns on 8th August 2021. The Final List of Nominated Candidates will be published on 7th October 2021”.
The schedule of activities is in consonance with both the Constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act. “By virtue of Section 178(1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 25(7) & (8) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), election into the office of a State Governor shall hold not earlier than One Hundred and Fifty (150) days and not later than thirty (30) days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of the office.
“Constitutionally and statutorily, the tenure of the Governor of Anambra State will expire on the 17th March 2022 and the earliest date for the election into the office of Governor, Anambra State, shall be 18th October 2021 and the latest date for the election shall be 15th February
INEC in its statement said “In the exercise of the powers conferred on it by the Constitution, the Electoral Act and all other powers enabling it in that regard, the Commission has fixed 6th November 2021 as the date for the conduct of the Anambra State Governorship election. Consequently, the Commission hereby issues the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election.
“The Commission enjoins all the registered political parties to pay close attention to the timelines and schedule of activities outlined in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities as they are constitutional and statutorily provisions.
“We also enjoin political parties to conduct rancour-free primaries, guarantee level playing field for all aspirants and conduct necessary due diligence on all forms and documents that will be submitted to the Commission. The Commission is concerned about the spate of acrimonious primaries as well as the nomination of unqualified candidates, which result in avoidable litigations, and the nullification of elections by Election Petition Tribunals.
“We urge all the stakeholders to support the Commission’s efforts to strengthen the electoral process, including the deployment of technology to deliver free, fair and credible elections”.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has proactively identified five critical areas of concern and challenges likely to be confronted in the conduct of the Anambra Governorship election slated for later in the year.
These include how to expand voter access to Polling Units in the context of a growing population as well as the growth of new settlements across the country and validation of the Voters roll and Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in the shadow of the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Others are the amendment of the Electoral Act which would, hopefully, improve the conduct of free, fair, transparent elections; deepening technology in the electoral process and the expected roll out of Electoral Voting Machines.
Equally of great concern to the Commission is how to increase Voter turnout in future elections and how to effectively manage electoral success recorded in the last two off -season elections in Edo and Ondo States.