The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set the dates for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States. The Edo State governorship election is scheduled for September 21, 2024, while the Ondo State governorship election will take place on November 16, 2024.
INEC’s announcement aligns with Section 178 (2) of the constitution, which stipulates that such elections shall be held not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the incumbent governor’s tenure. Additionally, Section 28(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 requires INEC to publish the election notice not later than 360 days before the election date.
In a statement by Sam Olumekun, Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, the commission noted that the current governors’ tenures in Edo and Ondo states will end on November 11, 2024, and February 23, 2025, respectively.
For the Edo governorship election, party primaries are scheduled to take place from February 1-24, 2024. The submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start on March 4, 2024, and close on March 24, 2024. The final list of candidates will be published on April 23, 2024. Political parties can commence public campaigns on April 24, 2024, which will conclude 24 hours before the election on September 19, 2024.
In Ondo State, party primaries will be held from April 6-27, 2024. The submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start on April 29, 2024, and close on May 20, 2024. The final list of candidates will be published on June 18, 2024. Public campaigns by political parties can begin on June 19, 2024, and will end 24 hours prior to the election on November 14, 2024.
Political parties in both states have expressed readiness for the upcoming elections. The Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) have conveyed their enthusiasm and determination to compete. Similarly, the Ondo State APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have indicated their readiness for the polls.
These election dates mark the commencement of the electioneering process and set the stage for a competitive political landscape in both states.