…Abacha’s son out, Bashir, Kano LP candidate missing on final list
By Clifford Ndujihe, Festus Ahon, Egufe Yafugborhi, Dennis Agbo, Marie-Therese Nanlong, Bashir Bello, James Ogunnaike & Steve Oko
THERE were surprises here and there, on Tuesday, as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, cleared 837 governorship, and 10,240 House of Assembly candidates for the March 11, 2023 governorship and state assembly polls.
The lists of the candidates are expected to be pasted on notice boards of the INEC in the 36 states of the country. While some states have pasted the names of the cleared candidates, some were yet to do so as of press time.
In Abia, the battle for the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship ticket between High Chief Ikechi Emenike and Uche Ogah was settled in favour of Emenike, who was listed.
In Enugu, the confusion over who is the authentic governorship candidate of the Labour Party between Capt Evarest Nnaji and Mr. Chijioke Edeoga was also cleared with the listing of Edeoga.
In Rivers State, amid contentions and litigations, two 2023 former aspirants of the APC, Senator Magnus Abe and former Reps member, Dr Dawari George, who quit to secure governorship tickets under alternative platforms were cleared to run.
For the Kano State Governorship race, the name of LP Candidate, Bashir Ishaq Bashir was missing from the list.
Bashir’s name was substituted with another name, Abdullahi Mohammed Raji.
The list pasted by Kano INEC also put to an end the controversy surrounding identity of the genuine candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state with Muhammad Abacha’s name missing while Sadiq Wali made the final list.
Among those cleared for the governorship election in Lagos is Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC; Abdulazeez Olajide Adediran of the PDP; and Mr Funso Doherty of the African Democratic Congress, ADC.
Edeoga makes INEC list in Enugu
Although, Mr. Chijioke Edeoga of the LP was listed among the 34 governorship candidates that will contest the 2023 poll, he, however has some hurdles to cross, as the Federal High Court in Abuja will on Wednesday October 5, continue hearing on the matter instituted by Nnaji challenging his exclusion from the repeat primary election that produced Edeoga as candidate.
In the list pasted at the INEC state headquarters in Enugu, on Tuesday evening, Edeoga’s name appeared as candidate for the LP with his running mate, Dr. John Nwokeabia.
Other candidates in the list included the candidate of the PDP, Peter Mbah and running mate, Ifeanyi Ossai; the APC candidate, Uche Nnaji and his running mate Tagbo Ogara, among others.
Oborevwori, Omo-Agege, Gbagi, others make INEC Governorship list in Delta
In Delta, the INEC published the name of the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori as governorship candidate of the PDP and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as candidate of the APC for the 2023 election.
The final list of candidates pasted at its headquarter in Asaba, has Mr Monday Onyeme as Oborevwori’s running mate and Friday Osanebi as running mate to Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Also cleared for the governorship are former Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi of the Social Democratic Party, SDP; Chief Agbi Goodnews Goodman of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP; Mr Ogba Emmanuel Samuel of African Democratic Party, ADP; Mr Ekure Efeoghene Shedrack of the ADC; Mr Gwede Jerkins Giane of Action Alliance, AA; and Mr America Emmanuel of National Rescue Movement, NRM.
Others include: Great Ogboru of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Onokiti Helen of Accord Party; Edijala Immanuel of People’s Redemption Party, PRP; Okoh Emmanuel of Zenith Labour Party, ZLP; Eke Kenny Ekene of Allied People’s Movement, APM; Umudjane Sylvester of Boot Party, BT; Cosmas Anabel of Action People’s Party, APP; and Sunny Ofehe of Young Progressive Party, YPP.
Emenike, Ikonne, Ibe, Otti, 32 others listed in Abia
The governorship candidate of the ruling PDP in Abia State, Professor Uche Ikonne; and his running mate, Okey Igwe were among those who made the final list of candidates for the 2023 governorship poll in Abia.
Other candidates who made the 36- man list included the APGA Governorship flag bearer, Professor Greg Ibe; his running mate, Mr. Obinna Ichita; the LP governorship candidate, Dr Alex Otti; and his running mate, Emetu Lekwachi.
On the list also were the APC, governorship candidate, High Chief Ikechi Emenike and his running mate, Gloria Akara; Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the ADC; and his running mate, Ngozi Nwasimuo; Chima Nwafor of the YPP; and his running mate, Chima Anyaso.
Despite litigations, Abe, George make Rivers 17 candidates’ list
Amid litigation, Senator Magnus Abe and former Reps member, Dr Dawari George, who quit the APC to secure governorship tickets under alternative platforms, were listed.
Abe secured the governorship ticket of the SDP while George got that of the AA ticket. Both are facing litigations from aggrieved party members seeking to be transfered the tickets.
The list also had top contenders, Siminalayi Fubara, candidate of the PDP; Cole Tonye Patrick (APC), and Dumo Lulu-Briggs (Accord) intact with former Rivers Deputy Speaker and lawyer, Leyii Kwanee, who has hardly been heard in the Rivers guber 2023 aspiration space listed as candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Other listed governorship contenders include Beatrice Itubo, current Rivers Chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, who will run as candidate of the Labour Party. Ex-militant leader, Jackrich Sobomabo Handerson remains candidate of the NRM and serial contender, Fingesi Victor Tamie, candidate of the Action Democratic Party, ADP.
Also listed were Beke Ugochukwu Prince, APGA, Whyte Faye-Ofori Churchill, APM, Gborogbosi Leesi Gabriel, APP, Ibraye Tonte, ADC, Dada Obele Joseph Ngechu, AAC, Wenike Briggs Danagogo Taribo, YPP, Iyagba Tekena, BP, and Agwor Samuel Ndubuisi of the NNPP.
Kano LP’s Bashir missing; Abacha’s son out
In Kano, the Kano State LP Governorship candidate, Bashir Ishaq Bashir was missing from the list.
Bashir’s name was substituted with another name, Abdullahi Mohammed Raji.
The list has also put to an end the controversy surrounding the authentic candidate of the PDP in the state with Muhammad Abacha’s name missing while Sadiq Wali was listed.
Recall that the former Head State, late General Sani Abacha’s son, Mohammed Abacha had claimed he was the genuine governorship candidate of the party.
In the early hours of Tuesday, there were speculations Bashir Ishaq Bashir was planning to defect to the APC.
In a swift reaction, he debunked the speculation describing it as false, baseless and without any iota of credibility.
Bashir said he has no plans to defect from the party to the APC noting that one doesn’t leave certainty for uncertainty.
“Our attention has been drawn to the widespread rumour going round that I’m defecting to APC, with two serial known transactional lightweight politicians. This statement is necessitated by the number of calls, text messages and visitations I received this morning on the growing speculations and rumours being shared across social media platforms in the state to the effect that I will be pitching a tent with APC.
“This information is false, baseless and without any iota of credibility. One doesn’t leave certainty for uncertainty,” he said.
Despite doubt, PDP, APC, LP candidates make gov list in Plateau
All18 registered political parties in Plateau State are standing for the governorship election according to the list of candidates published by the INEC.
Among those on the list are Nentawe Yilwatda of the APC and his running mate, Pam Botmang as well as Patrick Dakum of the Labour Party and his running mate, Edward Pwajok.
Their names being recognised by the electoral body has in the interim rested the speculations that they may not be part of the process as aggrieved party members are contesting their candidature in court.
Again, the candidate of the PDP, Caleb Mutfwang and his running mate, Josephine Piyo also made the list reinvigorating the hope of supporters who were being fed with contrary opinions.
According to the list, 36 names comprising candidates and their running mates in A, AA, AAC, ADC, ADP, APC, APGA, APM, APP, BP, LP, NNPP, NRM, PDP, PRP, SDP, YPP and ZLP were cleared for the polls
PDP, LP candidates missing on INEC list
In Ogun State, the governorship candidate of the PDP, Ladi Adebutu and his running mate, Adekunle Akinlade were not listed.
The commission also left out the names of the governorship candidate of Labour Party, Kehinde Shogunle and his running mate, Dr. Aishat Lawal Keshiro.
INEC released names of 13 political parties and their candidates in the final list pasted at the commission’s office in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
The commission cited “court order” as a reason for omitting the names of PDP candidates on the list.
A Federal High court sitting in Abeokuta had nullified all the primary elections conducted by the PDP in the state.
Three members of the party: Taiwo Olabode Idris, Kehinde Akala and Alhaji Ayinde Monsuri had dragged the party, Adebutu and INEC to court challenging the authenticity of the delegates’ lists used for the conduct of the primaries.
The presiding judge, Justice O.O Oguntoyinbo in his judgement had ordered the party to conduct fresh primaries within the next 14 days.
The court also barred INEC from recognising Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.
The plaintiffs contended that the persons on delegates’ list used by the electoral panel for the primaries were not democratically elected at the ward, local government and state congresses, hence the panel “cannot unilaterally or arbitrarily impose” the list on the party for the primaries.
About four suits had been filed against 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 Monsuri, also filed another suit challenging the delegates’ list used in the conduct of the party primaries.
The fourth suit against the PDP candidate was filed by the ruling APC.
The ruling party had approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, seeking the disqualification of Adebutu and his running mate, Adekunle Akinlade, over alleged breach of the electoral act.
Other parties that have their candidates listed for the 2023 governorship race include ADC, SDP, NNPP, NPM, PRP, ADP, APC among others.