The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday published the final list of candidates approved for the Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States governorship election scheduled for November 11, 2023.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye, disclosed in a statement obtained by Naija News that the list was approved at the commission’s regular meeting held on Tuesday, 6th June 2023, in Abuja.
Also in the statement, the commission reminded all political parties and candidates that would be participating in the election that, in line with the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the three elections, a campaign in public officially commences on Wednesday, 14th June 2023.
Among those on the list are the incumbent governor of Imo State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Hope Uzodinma; the incumbent governor of Bayelsa state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Douye Diri; the candidate of the APC in the state, Timipre Sylva; APC candidate in Kogi state, Ododo Ahmed Usman; candidate of the African Democratic Congress ADC, Leke Abejide and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP candidate, Dino Melaye, Naija News understands.
“The decision is in line with the provision of Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, which requires the publication of the list not later than 150 days to election day i.e. Friday 9th June 2023, following the period for voluntary withdrawal and substitution of candidates by political parties under Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2022.
“The final list has been uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms. The same will be published in our State and Local Government offices in the affected States on Thursday, 8th June 2023 ahead of the statutory deadline of 9th June 2023.
“The list shows that all 18 political parties are fielding candidates in Kogi State, 17 in Imo State and 16 in Bayelsa State. The list also shows that two political parties are fielding female candidates in Bayelsa State, one in Kogi State and none in Imo State,” Okoye noted.
“The Commission wishes to remind political parties and candidates that in line with the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the three elections, a campaign in public officially commences on Wednesday 14th June 2023 in line with Section 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and ends on 9th November 2023 i.e. 24 hours prior to election day,” Okoye said.
INEC, however, clarified and faulted the reported altercation between the convoys of the Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello and the Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party SDP, Yakubu Muritala, in Lokoja.
“Regrettably, the ugly incident last week involving the convoys of two political actors in Kogi State resulting in the destruction of vehicles and other properties ahead of the commencement of the campaign is worrisome,” the INEC official noted.
He, however, urged parties and candidates to conduct their political activities with civility and decorum as peaceful electioneering heralds a peaceful election.
“Political parties and candidates are responsible for de-escalating tension ahead of the elections,” the commission noted.