From Ben-Opara Emmanuella (HOD VEP), Imo
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Imo State, Prof Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, has enjoined political parties to follow the approved guidelines in the selection of their candidates for the 2019 general elections.
Answering questions during an exclusive interview with the Editor of the Leader Newspaper in his office, Prof. Ezeonu said the Commission would work towards promoting internal party democracy and would not recognize candidates that emerged through the back door.
He described as laughable, the current wave of endorsements of candidates and mock primaries to select candidates. According to him, while such concepts were acceptable in some advanced countries, they were not acceptable in Nigeria because they are at variance with the law.
He reminded political parties of the Commission’s mandate to monitor their activities and finances, observe their meetings and selection of candidates and write reports. He averred that the era of imposing candidates “is gone.”
He declared: “INEC will recognize only candidates that emerged from the appropriate process of internal democracy.”
Prof Ezeonu acknowledged the challenge posed by the multiplicity of political parties, but he asserted that INEC acted within the confines of the law by registering them.
He called on politicians to map out good programmes to attract voters to the electorate, stressing that the days of manipulating election results were over