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Ondo Poll: INEC Publishes Candidates’ Final List, Fixes June 19 For Campaigns

THE Independent National Electoral Commission released the final list of candidates for the Ondo State governorship poll on Thursday.

The agency also fixed June 19, as the date for the commencement of public campaigns for the election scheduled to take place on November 16, 2024.

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Seventeen political parties fielded candidates, but notably, no female candidates were among the governorship candidates.

However, one candidate from the African Democratic Congress is a paraplegic.

According to the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, the commission’s publication followed the replacement of candidates by two political parties, the New Nigeria Peoples Party and the Social Democratic Party, which conducted fresh primaries by the June 10 deadline.

Additionally, five parties; African Action Congress, the Action Democratic Party, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Peoples Redemption Party, and the Zenith Labour Party replaced their running mates only.

The final list, available at INEC’s Akure office and online, includes detailed information on the candidates’ age and academic qualifications.

“The Commission is pleased to announce the publication of the final list of candidates for the Ondo State Governorship Election. Following the initial primaries, the Commission published the personal particulars of the Governorship candidates and their running mates in the State and Local Government offices.

“In line with the provision of Section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, two political parties conducted fresh primaries to replace their earlier nominated candidates and their running mates by the deadline of June 10, 2024. The parties are the New Nigeria Peoples Party and the Social Democratic Party, while five only replaced their running mates. They are the African Action Congress, the Action Democratic Party, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Peoples Redemption Party and the Zenith Labour Party.

“Overall, seventeen political parties are fielding candidates for the election. No political party has nominated a female candidate while one candidate nominated by the African Democratic Congress is a person with disability (a paraplegic). The final list also gives the breakdown of the candidates by age and academic qualifications.

“The list has been published at our office in Akure and also uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information,” Olumekun said.

As public campaigning begins on June 19, 2024, INEC has emphasised the need for civility and adherence to legal guidelines, urging parties to avoid incitement, violence, and voter inducement.

The national commissioner added that campaigns will run until midnight on November 14, 2024, just two days before the election on November 16.

He said, “With the publication of the final list of candidates, the next activity is an electioneering campaign. As provided by Section 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, campaigns by political parties in public shall commence not earlier than 150 days before polling day and end 24 hours before that day.

“Therefore, political parties are now permitted to start the campaign in public from Wednesday, June 19, 2024, and end at midnight on Thursday, November 14, 2024, as indicated in items 8 and 12 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election.

“As parties commence this critical phase of the election, the Commission once again reminds candidates, agents and their supporters of the provision of the law and the Commission’s guidelines governing such activity.

“For emphasis, parties shall conduct their campaigns with civility and decorum.”

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