The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed September 21, 2024, for the Edo State governorship election while that of Ondo State will be held on November 16, 2024.
The electoral body said the announcement was in line with Section 178 (2) of the constitution, stipulating that election into the said offices shall be held not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the tenure of the last holder of the office.
Similarly, Section 28(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 requires INEC to publish the Notice for the Election not later than 360 days before the date of the election.
In a statement by its Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, on Tuesday, INEC noted that the tenure of the governors of Edo and Ondo states will end on November 11, 2024, and February 23, 2025, respectively.
“The Edo governorship election will hold on Saturday, September 21, 2024.
“Party primaries will hold from February 1-24, 2024 while the submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start at 9 am on March 4, 2024 and close at 6 pm on March 24, 2024.
“The final list of candidates will be published on April 23, 2024, while the campaign in public by political parties commences on April 24, 2024, and ends 24 hours prior to election day on September 19, 2024,” INEC said.
For Ondo State, it said, “The governorship election will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2024.
“Party primaries will be held from April 6-27, 2024 while the submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start at 9 am on April 29, 2024, and close at 6 pm on May 20, 2024.
“The final list of candidates will be published on June 18, 2024, while the campaign in public by political parties commences on June 19, 2024 and ends 24 hours prior to election day on November 14, 2024.”
Reacting to the announcement, the Edo State All Progressives Congress and the Labour Party expressed excitement and their readiness for the poll.
APC Publicity Secretary, Peter Uwadiae, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “The release of the timetable shows that work has just begun. We are aware that the election will be competitive as we are going up against a sitting governor, who will be hell-bent on putting his successor in power.
“We did well in the last general elections by winning six of the nine House of Representatives seats and two out of the three Senate seats. We want to improve on that in the 2024 governorship election.”
Similarly, the LP Public Relations Officer, Sam Uruopa, said, “We are ready. So far, we have the highest number of aspirants in the state. We are going to provide a level playing ground for all of them and leave no stone unturned to ensure that the best candidate emerges. The Edo people are behind us and that will help us win the election.”
Also, in Ondo State, the APC Director of Publicity, Mr Steve Otaloro, said, “This is indeed a positive development. As a political party, we can now officially begin our preparations for the upcoming election. In due time, we will share our plans with you, including the intentions of our aspiring aspirants both within the party and to the public.”
In the same vein, the Publicity Secretary of the Ondo PDP, Mr Kennedy Peretei, said, “We are prepared and we shall set the necessary machinery in motion to participate and put an end to the suffering of the people of Ondo State.”