Ibekimi Oriamaja Reports
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has no candidate for Yobe North senatorial seat, putting a stop to Senate President Ahmad Lawan’s ambition to return to the Red Chamber next year, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, INEC, which released the final list of candidates for the presidential and National Assembly elections, published the names of former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Goodwill Akpabio, for the Akwa Ibom Northwest senatorial district, and Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, for the Ebonyi South senatorial seat last night.
Furthermore, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, kept Kashim Shettima as his running partner for the 2023 presidential election, seemingly dismissing his criticisms.
After losing the APC presidential primary, Lawan, Umahi, and Akpabio decided to run for Senate seats in Yobe North, Ebonyi South, and Akwa Ibom Northwest, respectively.
The action aroused outrage because most Senate primaries were held before the presidential primary. In addition, INEC previously refused to disclose the name of any candidate for the party in the affected senatorial districts.
Lawan has been at odds with his party’s nominee, Bashir Machina, about who will represent the senate constituency in the upcoming election. The APC was not represented as a candidate in the final INEC list for the Yobe North senatorial district.
In addition, despite his reported expulsion from his party, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) presidential candidate, Dumebi Kachikwu, made INEC’s final list.
Ralphs Okey Nwosu, the party’s immediate past National Chairman, removed Kachikwu and seven others for alleged anti-party conduct.
Following the announcement of the final list, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the Commission decided to recognize both Umahi and Akpabio as candidates for their respective senatorial districts based on court rulings.
The Commission’s decision on Akpabio was based on a verdict by a Federal High Court in Abuja last week, which directed it to accept and publish Akpabio’s name as the APC candidate for Akwa Ibom Northwest senatorial district.
EX-President Goodluck Jonathan has cautioned politicians and their parties to avoid violence ahead of the 2019 elections, saying Nigeria must exist before the next president can be elected. He revealed this yesterday in Abuja at the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation’s 2022 Peace Conference.
The former president urged those running for office to defend Africa’s most populated country from destruction.
Those who want to be president, governors, and legislators, he says, have important duties to play in safeguarding the country’s democracy.
“Before you talk about having a President or a governor, we need to establish a state.” Where do we need a President if you destroy the country?” He stated.
“Anyone interested in leadership at the level of president, governor, or senator has the greatest stake in protecting the nation.” Those who aspire to be president, governors, and their followers should understand that we need a nation before anybody you support can rise to the position of leadership.”
Jonathan praised Nigerian youths for their enthusiasm in the general elections, but warned them to avoid hate speech. He listed fake news, hate speech, and propaganda as the greatest threats to democracy, and urged citizens to refrain from engaging in them.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed; Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjkpo; former Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda; and Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Diocese were among those present.
SPEAKING ON THE PUBLICED LIST, Okoye stated that the list contains the names of candidates who were lawfully nominated for national elections at the end of party primaries and the period set aside for candidate withdrawal and substitution.
According to him, all 18 political parties filed presidential candidates and running mates.
APC – Tinubu and Shettima (running mate); Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa; Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and his running mate, Idahosa Isaac; and Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi and Baba Ahmed Yusuf Datti as running mate.
Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and his running mate, Yusuf Buhari; Kolawole Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and his running mate, Zego Haruna; Sani Yabagi of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and his running mate, Udo Okey-Okoro; and Ado-Ibrahim Abdulmalik of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).
Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC) and his running mate, Magashi Garba; Princess Chichi Ojei of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and her running mate, Ibrahim Mohammed; Chukwudi Umeadi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and his running mate, Koli Mohammed; Oluwafemi Adenuga of the Boot Party (BP) and his running mate, Turaki Mustapha; Daberechuk
Dumebi Kachikwu of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and his running partner, Buhari Ahmed; Hamsa Al-Mustafa of the Action Alliance (AA) and his running mate, Chukwuka Johnson; and Osita Nnadi of the Action Peoples Party (APP) and his running mate, Isa Hamisu made the final list.
Okoye, on the other hand, noted that not all political parties held primaries in all constituencies, despite the fact that the majority submitted the names of candidates who emerged from valid primaries or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries within 14 days, as required by Section 33 of the Electoral Act.
According to him, this has resulted in countless lawsuits, some of which are still continuing. He indicated that 4,223 people would be running for 469 legislative seats.
“At its regular weekly meeting on September 20, the Commission approved the final list of candidates for national elections (Presidential, Senatorial, and Federal Constituencies) in accordance with section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and item 8 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election,” according to the statement.
“The release of the full names and addresses of all nominated candidates follows the completion of the nomination process by political parties.” Nigerians may recall that at the completion of the process, the personal details of all nominated candidates were displayed in their constituencies across the country, as required by Section 29(3) of the Electoral Act.
“Thereafter, lawfully nominated candidates were given the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidacy by giving written notice to the political party that nominated them for the election.” Following that, political parties substituted such candidates under section 31 of the Electoral Act, the deadline for which was July 15, 2022 for national elections and August 12, 2022 for state elections, as plainly stated in item 6 of the Commission’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities.
“Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is permitted unless in the event of death as stipulated in section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or by order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.”
“As previously stated on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the final list of candidates for state elections (Governorship and State Constituencies) will be published on October 4.”
“In summary, all 18 political parties have fielded presidential candidates and running partners for the election.” For legislative elections, there are 1,101 candidates vying for 109 Senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates vying for Federal Constituencies, i.e. House of Representatives seats, for a total of 4,223 candidates vying for 469 legislative positions.
“In terms of gender distribution, there are 3,875 male candidates, including 35 for President and Vice President, 1,008 for the Senate, and 2,832 for the House of Representatives.” Similarly, 381 females are running for office, including one for President, 92 for the Senate, and 288 for the House of Representatives. There are also 11 people with disabilities (PWDs) competing.”
Okoye urged all political parties to submit any comments on the list of candidates to the Commission, noting that such comments must be signed by the political party’s National Chairman and Secretary and accompanied by an affidavit, as required by Section 32(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.
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