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16 parties jostle for Ondo guber —INEC

By Jubril Bada

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu yesterday declared that 16 out of 19 registered political parties have indicated interest in contesting this year’s November 16 governorship election in Ondo State.

Speaking at the First Regular Quarterly Consultative Meeting with political parties for 2024, held at the INEC Conference Room, Abuja, Yakubu said for the Ondo State Governorship election, party primaries will begin in the next two weeks, April 6, 2024 and end three weeks later, on April 27, 2024.

“So far, 16 out of 19 political parties have indicated interest in participating in the election. I urge political parties to adhere strictly to your proposed dates and modes of primaries. Frequent changes as we witnessed recently during the Edo primaries are not only disruptive but costly.

“The Commission cannot mobilise, demobilise and remobilise our officials for the monitoring of party primaries at the convenience of political parties. Parties should stick to their proposed dates and modes of primaries for certainty and optimal deployment of resources”, he added.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier released its timetable and schedule of activities leading to the party’s selection of a candidate on April 25, 2024, ahead of the November 16, 2024 governorship election in Ondo State.

The APC timetable released late Monday was signed by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Sulaimon Argungu.

According to the party, the sale of nominations, expression of interest and delegate forms for contestants will begin on April 3 and end on April 10, 2024, while the primary election is slated for April 25, 2024.

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The APC also pegged the price for the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms at N10m and N40m respectively for Ondo.

The party stated that female aspirants and persons living with disabilities are to pay for Expression of Interest while the Nomination Form is free.

“Youths from 25 to 40 years are to purchase Expression of Interest forms with a 50% discount on Nomination Forms,” the APC stated.

Major contenders for the APC ticket in Ondo state include incumbent Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Senator representing Ondo South, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, a lawyer, Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, former House of Representatives member, Mayowa Akinfolarin, former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Wale Akinterinwa, among others.

Major political parties in the coming election are the ruling All Progressives Party) APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Labour Party (LP), among others.

Ondo and Edo are two of the eight states where governorship elections are held off-season due to litigations and court judgements.

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