The Labour Party has said it has deemed it pertinent to make some clarifications as regards the guideline for the Edo State governorship primaries, released recently as approved by its National leadership.
In a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the party said that the Guideline is in line with the 1999 Constitution, the Electoral Act and the Party’s constitution.
The Guideline, no doubt has widened the scope of participation within party members saying, all members of the party from the Ward level will have one role or the other to play in the emergence of the party’s candidate.
The party also said the fixed sum of N30 million for nomination and expression of interest forms for the Edo Governorship election is the lowest, compared to other political parties in the country.
The statement read, “The party also deemed it necessary to make clarification on the fees of N30 million charged for both the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for the Edo State Governorship election.
“It must be noted that all factors were taken into account before the National Working Committee arrived at the figure.
“It is consequent upon these, that all members of the party from the Ward, will be nominating two delegates each, who will converge in their various Local Governments to nominate five delegates each that will participate in the primary election scheduled to hold on February 22, 2024. that will produce a candidate for the party.”
He stated that Article 27 of the party’s Constitution gives the leadership of the party the power to make rules and guidelines for the conduct of primaries that will elect public officers.
For the avoidance of doubt, Article 27 states as follows; ‘The National Executive Council of the party shall formulate guidelines and regulations for nomination of candidates for election into public offices at all levels, subject to the provisions of this constitution.’
“So, the guideline currently released by the leadership of the party in respect of Edo State Governorship Election falls in line with the provision of the constitution.
“It has most importantly widened the scope of participation of the members. It thus, means that party members at the Ward will nominate two members from each ward.
“These two members from the Wards will also nominate 5 members from each of the Local Governments in the State, who will qualify to elect the Governorship candidate of the party at the State Congress.
“It therefore, follows that the party has not violated the 1999 constitution, the electoral Act and also the party constitution,” the statement stated.
The LP further noted that cost of elections into political offices in Nigeria is quite expensive as witnessed from the recently general election.
“Aside being qualified to contest election, aspirants must also be ready to show capability and capacity to fund campaigns and other election requirements.
“Comparatively, the fees charged by our party is still the lowest among the three major political parties in the contest. Therefore, any person who cannot afford that fee does not have the capacity to run for the Governorship election.
“Political party funding is a major challenge and it must also be noted that the sale of forms is a major source through which a political party is funded.
“A lot of issues that may arise as a result of primaries and election itself which has to do with litigation arising from primaries and election itself as well as other logistics issues makes it imperative for the parties to charge that much.
“There is also, the cost of conducting various congresses leading to the emergence of the candidate through congresses in Wards, to Local Governments’, culminating into the party primaries.
“We are therefore, calling on all our intending aspirants to make the necessary sacrifice by participating in the exercise.
“The party is determined to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants to ensure that a candidate emerges only through a democratic process,” the statement added.