The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has subtly disqualified 21 political parties from participating in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.

The Commission explained that their disqualification was a result of their inability to meet the legal stipulations of political parties qualified for elections in Nigeria.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ekiti, Professor Abduganiy Raji, while addressing concerned bodies and individuals in Ado-Ekiti, said 21 of the 42 political parties existing in Ekiti State were qualified to participate in the July 14 governorship election.

At the meeting were security chiefs in the state led by the Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Chafe, chairmen of political parties, journalists and others.

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The Ekiti REC observed that though INEC received correspondence on existence of 42 political parties in the state but only 21 met the requirements of the laws.

Raji had disclosed that INEC would deploy Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gadgets for the conduct of the election; noting that this would make it difficult for any staff to manipulate the outcome.

Raji further revealed that he had received series of threats from politicians, including some elders in the state, calling him to conduct free, fair and credible election or face the consequences.

“We were made to believe that there were 42 parties in Ekiti, but when I went round, I realised only 21 had full complements of structures that met the requirements of the laws.

“Some were even located in a corner shop where they sell biscuits. We even got another 10 letters from other political parties of recent but we advised them to do the needful.

“We have got 33 notifications for party congresses. But let me tell our parties to always root their correspondence to us through the office of our National Chairman, these are letters we will recognise.”

The Commissioner of Police assured that the security agencies will maintain neutrality by being fair to all the parties.

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Chafe appealed to politicians to show maturity in their campaigns and pasting of posters to reduce crises that are daily being reported by political parties.

“I am still going to hold a meeting with you where you will agree whether you will be using posters or handbills; so, I can instruct my men to arrest and detain whoever breaches the regulation.” The CP declared.

The Chairmen of the PDP, Gboyega Oguntuase, the Labour Party, Banji Omotoso, and the APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, promised to encourage their members to exhibit peaceful conducts during the campaigns and election.

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