Senate President Ahmed Lawan; former Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio and Ebonyi Governor Dave Umahi, have been excluded from the list of senatorial candidates for the 2023 elections in their respective constituencies by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Lawan and Umahi lost the shadow election while Akpabio stepped down for former Lagos Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who eventually won the contest with a wide margin.
In Yobe North, Lawan’s constituency, the APC was completely excluded as no candidate was listed for the party.
The claimant to the APC senatorial ticket for Yobe North, Hon Bashir Machina and the Senate President were missing on the list published by the Commission on Friday.
Their names were excluded from the list of candidates published by the Commission on Friday.
A credible source at the INEC office in Damaturu told our correspondent that the commission did not publish any candidate for APC in Yobe North.
“What we have is Mohammed Bomoi for Yobe South and Ibrahim Geidam for Yobe East. There is no name for the Yobe North for the APC,” he said.
The Head of Voter Education and publicity at the Damaturu office of INEC , Mrs Rifkatu Duku, also told The Nation no credentials of APC candidates for Zone C have been submitted from the headquarters.
“We have received credentials of candidates for the National Assembly and Presidential election. But we did not get that of Zone C, ie Yobe north for APC. We got that of Yobe south and Yobe eat which is the Ibrahim Bomoi and former Governor Gaidam,” Mrs Duku said.
Featuring on Channels Television’s political programme, NEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the commission is not obligated to publish the name of candidates that did not emerge from valid party primaries.
According to him: “If a political party submits to the Independent National Electoral Commission the name of a candidate that did not emerge from party primaries or did not emerge from valid party primaries, the commission is not obligated to publish the name of such a candidate,” he said.
However, Okoye noted that INEC has not published the final list of validly nominated candidates.
“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 that is exactly what we have done. And we published the personal particulars of candidates that emerged from valid party primaries. And that’s what the law says we should do.
“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.”