BusinessDay

Double loss for Lawan, Akpabio as INEC publishes national election’s candidates

...APC may have no candidate for Yobe north, Akwa Ibom north/west

It will be a double loss for Ahmad Lawan, president of the Senate and Godswill Akpabio, former minister of Niger Delta Affairs as their senatorial bids after the unsuccessful race for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket has suffered a set back.

Their names were conspicuously missing on the list of particulars of candidates for general election released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the respective constituencies.

Both Lawan and Akpabio had contested for the APC presidential ticket but while the former lost to Bola Tinubu, the later stepped down him.

However, the Abdullahi Adamu-led national leadership of the party submitted their names to the INEC as candidates for the Yobe north and Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial election in 2023, respectively.

Read also: INEC’s decision on Akpabio over APC senatorial candidacy is final, says Igini

BusinessDay earlier reported that INEC documents have shown that Bashir Machina is the duly nominated candidate of APC for Yobe north senatorial district which is being claimed by Lawan.

In a certified true copy (CTC) of the report of INEC officials that monitored the primary election and signed by Omale Samuel, dated May 28, 2022, Machina scored 289 votes out of the 300 delegates that participated in the exercise.

For Akwa Ibom north-west, Udom Ekpoudom, a retired deputy inspector general of police had won the ticket before APC leadership substituted him with Akpabio.

The situation is putting the APC on the verge of not having candidates for the affected senatorial districts in the 2023 general election.

An INEC official who did not want to be mentioned said Lawan and Machina in Yobe and Akpabio as well as Ekpoudom’s names are not on the published list, leaving APC space for the districts vacant.

According to source, “Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North are blank. In Yobe there is Mohammed Bomoi for the south and Ibrahim Geidam for the eastern senatorial districts but there is no APC candidate for the Yobe north.

‘’Akwa.Ibom north-west senatorial district space for APC is vacant. Ekpoudom won but they brought name of someone (Akpabio) who didn’t participate in the primaries monitored by the commission.”

Also, INEC published the particulars of presidential candidates and their running mates for the 2023 general election in its state offices accross the country.

The include, Tinubu and his running mate, Ibrahim Masari (APC); Atiku Abubakar, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa; Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) and his running mate, Doyin Okupe; Osita Nnadi, Action Peoples Party (APP) and his running mate, Isa Hamisu.

Others are Kolawole Abiola, Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and his running mate, Ribi Marshal; Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and his running mate, Johnson Oladipupo; Yabagi Sani, Action Democratic Party (ADP) and his running mate, Udo Okey -Okoro; Ado-Ibrahim Abdulmalik, Young Progressives Party (YPP) and his running mate, Enyinna Kasarachi.

The list also has Omoyele Sowere, African Action Congress (AAC ) and his running mate, Garba Magashi; Mamman Dantalle, Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and his running mate Ojei Princess; Chukwudi Umeadi, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and his running mate Koli Mohammed and Oluwafemi Adenuga, Boot Party (BP) and the running mate Turaku Mustapha.

Others include Daberechukwu Nwanyanwu, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and the running mate, Ramalan Abubakar; Dumebi Kachikwu, African Democratic Congress (ADC) and his running mate, Ahmed Mani as well as Hamza Al-mustapha, Action Aliance (AA) and his running mate Chukwuka Johnson among others.

Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner in charge of publicity said INEC has not published the final list of validly nominated candidates.

Okoye who spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, said: “The final list of validly nominated candidates will be published by the Independent National Electoral Commission on the 20th day of September, 2022. And that is for presidential and National Assembly candidates.

“What the Commission has published, as of today, complies with Section 29(3) of the electoral act which says that the moment political parties comply with the provision of Section 29 (1) of the electoral act in terms of the submission of its validly nominated candidates, that the Commission shall publish the personal particulars of such candidates in the constituencies where the candidates intend to contest election.

“In other words, for instance for a senatorial candidate, if a senatorial district covers four local governments, we will publish the personal particulars of such a candidate in the four local governments.

“So, if the name of any candidate was not published, or if the personal particulars of any candidate was not published today, the implication is that such a candidate did not emerge from valid party primaries.”

Okoye further the submitted names of vice-presidential candidates cannot be replaced or substituted by the political parties except they die or they willingly withdraw.

He said no one can force any vice presidential candidate to give up their seats for another person as the concept of ‘placeholders’ is alien to the electoral system.

BusinessDay had reported that the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu submitted the name of Masari, a former National Welfare Secretary of the APC as a placeholder for his running mate to meet up with INEC deadline.

Also, Okupe had said in an interview that he was standing in for the substantive candidate of Labour party and running mate to Obi.

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