The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the final list of candidates that will be squaring up to contest the governorship and houses of assembly election in 28 states of the federation in the 2023 elections.
A statement signed yesterday by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, had in it the 18 political parties that fielded 837 candidates and their running mates for the 28 governorship elections.
Also, the statement indicated that 10,231 candidates would vie for 993 seats in the state assembly elections.
The list also included the names of the running mates to the governorship candidates from the 18 political parties billed to participate in the poll.
A careful look by Africa Daily News, New York indicates that no fewer than 14 candidates in 12 states have been knocked off the INEC list on account of the litigation and controversies that dogged the parties’ primary elections.
This is against the backdrop of ongoing litigations in Ebonyi, Akwa-Ibom, Enugu, Rivers, Ogun and four other states.
According to the elections timetable for the 2023 general elections, the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 11, 2023.
But the poll will not be held in Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Osun states which are no longer part of the general elections circle.
Those cleared for the governorship race include; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta State and 833 others.
In Delta, Omo-Agege of APC would be competing with the state House of Assembly Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori of the Peoples Democratic Party; Great Ogboru of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, and Kenneth Gbagi of the Social Democratic Party.
Also cleared for the governorship are former Minister of State for Education; Agbi Goodnews Goodman of NNPP; Ogba Emmanuel Samuel of ADP; Ekure Efeoghene Shedrack of ADC; Gwede Jerkins Giane of AA; and America Emmanuel of NRM.
Checks showed that the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party will not field governorship candidates in Akwa Ibom and Ogun states respectively.
In addition, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Booth Party, Labour Party, Young Peoples Party and Zenith Labour Party will also not contest in Ogun State as they have no candidates.
The APC candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Akanimo Udofia, was missing from the list following the crisis in the state chapter of the party and the refusal of INEC to monitor the primary which produced him. It, therefore, rejected his candidacy in line with the Electoral Act 2022.
At least four suits had been filed against the Ogun State governorship candidate of the PDP, Ladi Adebutu.
Two of the suits were filed by former aspirants – Segun Showunmi and Jimi Lawal, while three PDP members – Taiwo Olabode Idris, Kehinde Akala and Alhaji Ayinde Monsuru, also filed another suit challenging the delegates’ list used in the conduct of the party primaries.
Last Tuesday, a Federal High court sitting in Abeokuta, nullified all the primaries conducted by the PDP in the state.
The court also barred INEC from recognising Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in the state. Reports said Adebutu had filed an appeal against the Federal Court judgment.
In Gombe State, the Peoples Redemption, Young People’s Party, and All Progressives Grand Alliance had no governorship candidates as the space for them was blank.
In Jigawa, the African Action Congress, Allied Peoples Movement, Action Peoples Party and the Zenith Labour Party had no candidates.
Similarly in Kaduna State, the AAC, Booth Party and ZLP will not field governorship candidates while the AAC, APP, APM and APGA would also not participate in the governorship poll.
Further checks also confirmed that the AAC, APP, APM, YPP and APGA have no governorship candidates in Katsina.