By Milcah Tanimu
YIAGA Africa has called on political parties to avoid awarding nominations based on the highest bids in the upcoming February 3, 2024, by-elections. Samson Itodo, the Executive Secretary of YIAGA Africa, emphasized this plea during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
The advocacy organization stressed the importance of political parties adhering to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 as they conduct primaries to select candidates for positions across two Senatorial Districts, four Federal Constituencies, and three State Constituencies in nine states.
Itodo urged the 19 political parties involved to follow their constitutions when nominating candidates for the by-elections. He cautioned against the trend of parties demanding exorbitant sums from aspirants for nomination forms, warning that such practices could lead Nigeria toward a plutocratic state.
Referring to the Electoral Act 2022, Itodo pointed out that parties are required to notify the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 21 days before conducting primaries. He emphasized that any changes to the venue and date of primaries must be communicated to INEC, as per legal requirements.
Itodo highlighted that according to the law, if INEC does not witness primaries, they are considered null and void. He also stressed the importance of parties following the legal procedures for substituting candidates, stating that any unlawful substitutions would not be tolerated.
In conclusion, Itodo asserted that Nigerians expect political parties to comply with the Electoral Act and fulfill their responsibilities without offering excuses for the upcoming by-elections.