The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof.Yakubu Mahmud, on Tuesday in Abuja disclosed that 35 out of the 68 registered political parties will participate in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.
According to him, only 35 political parties submitted the names of governorship candidates before the closure of the deadline set by the commission. .
Yakubu said that the details of the parties would be published on Tuesday in Ekiti as required by law.
He said, “The nomination has closed and 35 political parties are fielding candidates for governorship election in July”.
He added that though the timeline for submission of candidates’ names has elapsed, there is stll room for any of the 35 political parties to substitute candidates if need be.
The chairman stated this while speaking with newsmen after meeting with the team of ECOWAS female parliamentarians at the Commission’s secretariat in Abuja.
Reiterating the commitment of the Commission to work with political parties in achieving increased women representation in politics, Yakubu pledged that all registered voters in Ekiti and Osun would get their Permanent Voter Cards before the election days.
“In the cases of Ekiti and Osun, remember INEC conducted Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) not only in 2017, but also in 2018 and at ward level.
“We have assured citizens in Ekiti and Osun that all those who registered will get their PVCs ahead of the elections.
“We have already delivered PVCs for 2017 in the two states for 2017 and 2018. We are mopping up for those who registered at ward level during the devolved CVR.’’
Yakubu also denied the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party PDP) that the accredited observer groups by INEC for Ekiti election were sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC)
He said, “As far as Ekiti election is concerned, we have not accredited observers for the Ekiti election. There is a procedure and it is known. It is even on our website, the guidelines for elections observation.
“We have received quite a number of applications, even yesterday the applications kept coming in, but we have not accredited any group for election observation in Ekiti and Osun.
“Very soon we will do this and as usual we will make it known to public.’’
Earlier addressing the ECOFEPA delegation, Yakubu pledged to use his position as the President of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) to advocate for more women participation in politics.
He explained that INEC was a gender friendly commission, saying out of 11 national commissioners in the commission, three were women.
The INEC boss said, “INEC has a workforce of 16,000 staff and women constituted over 32 per cent of it.’’
Yakubu added that the commission already had its Gender Policy and was working with political parties to ensure more women’s participation in politics.
The 1st Vice President of the ECOWAS Female Parliament Association (ECOFEPA), Hon. Aissata Daffe, from Conakry, decried the low level of women participation in politics and their number in elective positions in the sub-region.
Daffe, said that women constituted over 52 per cent of the Nigeria’s population but only had six per cent representation in decision making levels, while Senegal had 42 per cent.
Dr Sintiki Ugbe, of ECOWAS Commission Abuja, presented the ECOFEPA’s ECOWAS Gender Election and Startegic Framework document to Yakubu and said they were on advocacy visit to INEC.