By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed July 14, 2018 and Sept. 22, 2018 for governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States respectively.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Voter Education and Publicity, Prince Solomon Soyebi, disclosed this while reading the timetables and schedule of activities for the elections on Thursday in Abuja.
Soyebi said that the tenure of Ekiti incumbent governor would end on Oct 15, 2018 while that of Osun would end in November 28.
According to him, release of the dates is in line with the requirements of the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
He said that in fixing the dates for the elections, the Commission considered national festivals and public holidays, going by its experience in the conduct of Edo governorship election.
“Anybody who deviates from the Electoral guidelines by engaging in public campaign ahead of the date for commencement of campaign is committing electoral offence and will be prosecuted.
“All political parties and their candidates are hereby enjoined to cooperate with us,’’ Soyebi said.
According to timetables and schedules of activities signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, read by Soyebi, the notice for Ekiti election will be released by INEC on April 4, 2018.
The commission also fixed April 15, 2018 for the commencement of campaign by political parties, and April 16 for collection of forms.
The conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries had been scheduled to hold between April 15, 2018, and May 14, 2018, while last day for submission of forms had been fixed for May 15, 2018.
“The commission will publish personal particulars and list of candidates on May 22, 2018, and the last day for withdrawal and replacement of candidates is May 30, 2018.
“The last day for the submission of nomination forms by political parties is fixed for June 13, 2018.’’
It also fixed June 14, 2018 for the publication of official register of voters and final list of nominated candidates for the election, while notice of poll would be published on June 30, 2018.
For Osun state, the notice of election would be issued on June 23, while campaign by political parties would commence on June 24 and end on Sept. 20, 2018.
According to the timetable for Osun, the collection of forms has been fixed for June 25, 2018 and last day for the submission of forms for July 24, 2018.
The Commission also scheduled conduct of primaries including resolution of disputes arising from primaries between June 24, 2018 and July 23, 2018.
It also fixed July 31, 2018 as date for the publication of personal particulars and list of candidates and August 8, 2018 as last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement by political parties.
According to the timetable, the publication of official register of voters and final list of candidates for the election will be displayed on Aug. 23, 2018.
It added that the publication of notice of poll would be done on Sept. 8, 2018 and submission of names of party agents for Sept. 8, 2018. (NAN)