â€¢ 35 political parties field candidates
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has closed submission of names of governorship candidates by political parties.
As at the expiration of the deadline for the exercise yesterday, 35 political parties had fielded candidates for Ekiti State governorship election.
Yakubu disclosed this in an interview with journalists shortly after he received a delegation of the ECOWAS Female ParliamentarianÂ Association (ECOFEPA) yesterday in Abuja.
He said the details of the political parties would be published yesterday in Ekiti as required by law.
He added that the commission last Monday closed the nomination of candidates by political parties for the June 2 Ibarapa State House of Assembly b-election and seven political parties alsoÂ submitted nomination forms.
Yakubu promised that all registered voters in Ekiti and Osun State would get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before the election days.
â€œIn the cases of Ekiti and Osun, remember INEC conducted Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) not only in 2017, but also in 2018 and at ward level.
â€œWe have assured citizens in Ekiti and Osun State that all those who registered will get their PVCs ahead of the elections.
â€œWe have already delivered PVCs for 2017 in the two states for 2017 and 2018. We are mopping up for those who registered at ward level during the devolved CVR.â€™â€™
Yakubu also responded to the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party PDP) that the commission accredited Â agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as observer groups by INEC for Ekiti election.
â€œAs far as Ekiti election is concerned, we have not accredited observers for the Ekiti election. There is a procedure and it is known. It is even on our website,Â the guidelines for elections observation.
â€œWe have received quite a number of applications, even yesterday the applications kept coming in, but we have not accredited any group for election observation in Ekiti and Osun.
â€œVery soon we will do this and as usual we will make it known to the public.â€™â€™
Earlier, addressing the ECOFEPA delegation, Yakubu pledged to use his position as the President of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) to advocate for more women participation in politics.
He explained that INEC was a gender-friendly commission, saying out of 11 national commissioners in the commission three were women.
â€œINEC has a workforce of 16,000 staff and women constituted over 32 per cent of it.â€™â€™
Yakubu added that the commission already had its gender policy and was working with political parties to ensure more womenâ€™s participation in politics.
The firstÂ Vice President of the ECOWAS Female Parliament Association (ECOFEPA), Hon. Aissata Daffe, from Conakry, decried the low level of women participation in politics and their number in elective positions in the sub-region.
Daffe, said that women constituted over 52 per cent of the Nigeriaâ€™s population but only had six per cent representation in decision making levels, while Senegal had 42 per cent.
Sintiki Ugbe of ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, presented the ECOFEPAâ€™s ECOWAS Gender Election and Strategic Framework Â document to Yakubu and said they were on advocacy visit to INEC.
Ugbe expressed hope that the document would serve as a tool of election management bodies in ECOWAS and all other stakeholder to integrate gender in their electoral processes.
On his part, the INEC boss assured the delegation that INEC is a gender sensitive body, adding that the commission has been working with political parties to increase women participation in politics and governance.
He said that out of the commissionâ€™s eleven commissioners, three are women.
Also he said that INEC has a workforce of over 16,000 staff and that women constitutes over three per cent.
INEC has a gender policy
Yakubu further said that out of the 68 political parties in the country, five of them have women as their chairman.