You’ve no candidates for Yobe north, Akwa Ibom north-west, INEC tells APC 

2023: Ahead of next year’s general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no senatorial candidates for Yobe north and Akwa Ibom north-west districts for the 2023 elections.

National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye, said this on Sunday in a television interview.

In June, INEC had excluded Ahmad Lawan, senate president, and Godswill Akpabio, former minister of Niger Delta affairs, from the list of candidates contesting Yobe north and Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial districts, respectively.

APC had submitted the names of Lawan and Akpabio as senatorial candidates, despite the controversy that surrounded the primaries involving the duo in their respective districts.

An online report had recently claimed that INEC had “backdated” the certified true copies of its report on the APC primaries to accommodate some aspirants – a claim that was dismissed by INEC.

Speaking on the development, Okoye said the commission decided to exclude the name of Akpabio and Lawan from the candidates’ list because they were not nominated from validly-conducted primaries.

Okoye added that any political party that nominates candidates who did not emerge from validly conducted primaries will not have candidate to contest in that particular election.

“The commission has made it very clear that under section 29(1) of the electoral act, it is the responsibility to forward to INEC the list and personal particulars of their members who emerged from validly conducted party primaries,” he said.

“In these two constituencies, two names were forwarded and the commission made a determination that the names were not persons who emerged from validly-conducted party primaries and we did not publish their names. That is where we are.

“So, the commission will not go out of its way to plead with a political party to forward the name of a candidate that emerged from a validly conducted primary.

“If a political party does not forward the name of the candidate that emerged from a validly-conducted primary, the implication is that the political party will not have the candidate in the election for that particular constituency and that is just the law.

“Their (referring to Lawan and Akpabio) names were uploaded by the APC to our candidates’ nomination portal, but the commission made a determination that they were not the candidates that emerged from valid party primaries.

“The commission did not publish their names and their particulars in their constituencies. So, the implication is that as of today, the APC does not have candidates in those two constituencies.”

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