Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio are back in contention for next year’s senatorial election after their party, All Progressives Congress (APC), submitted their name yesterday to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as its candidates for Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West respectively.
Yesterday was the deadline set by INEC for all parties to turn in the names of all their candidates in the 2023 presidential and national assembly polls.
The lists were channeled through a portal dedicated for that purpose by the commission.
Each party was assigned a code by INEC for the uploading of its list.
The portal officially shut down at 6pm last night.
The Commission had, in a statement, said: “All nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines. The portal will automatically shut down at 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 17th June 2022 for national elections and 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 15th July 2022 for state elections.
“With this innovation, the Commission has eliminated the physical interface between party officials and INEC staff for the purpose of submitting the list of candidates for the 2023 General Election.”
Tinubu submits forms
The media office of the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said he had “returned his duly completed nomination forms to INEC” as stipulated by the electoral law and Independent National Electoral Commission guidelines and timetable.
Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, who signed the statement, said the forms were returned on Wednesday June 15, two days ahead of schedule.
“We wish to reiterate that HE Asíwájú Tinubu now stands ready to contest the February 25, 2023 presidential election to deliver progressive good governance to our people,” he said.
Okupe is Obi’s stand-in running mate
Labour Party (LP) submitted the name of a former presidential spokesman, Dr. Doyin Okupe, as running mate to its presidential candidate, Mr.Peter Obi.
But Okupe himself confirmed that he was merely standing in until when the party would pick its authentic presidential running mate.
He said: “Naturally, we comply with the electoral body and in doing so, we believe that choosing the vice-presidential candidate is part of the electoral process. And you will understand that Mr. Peter Obi came into the Labour Party on the 29th of May, which is exactly three weeks ago.
“Therefore, our idea and our reasoning is to bring together in the country, and for the first time, the largest political coalition possible, because we are facing two political giants – APC, PDP. And we are serious about upstaging them and we will.
“But to do that, we cannot do it alone. We need to be able to put together this coalition and the so-called third force is now alive, and it is forming, and it is important for us to ensure that all the stakeholders are carried along from the beginning to the end.
“So, because of this, I, Dr. Doyin Okupe, am standing in as the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party.”
Lawan, Akpabio set for another shot at Senate
The names of the Senate President and Akpabio were on the list of the APC senatorial candidates submitted yesterday.
The duo had sought the APC presidential ticket.
But while Akpabio stepped down at the last minute, Lawan placed fourth with 152 votes in the primary.
Machina mulls legal action over substitution of name with Lawan
However, the winner of the APC Senatorial primary in Yobe North, Bashir Machina, is threatening legal action over the substitution of his name with that of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in the list sent to INEC.
Machina, who had vowed not to surrender his ticket to Lawan, told reporters in Abuja last night that he would go to court to challenge alleged attempt to rob him of his mandate.
He asked the party APC to correct the omission of his name, saying: “In the list sent to INEC, my name was found to be misrepresented.
“I don’t know whether it was erroneous, my name was not on the list of the names that were said to be presented today to INEC. For the avoidance of doubt, I remain the candidate duly elected to the APC Yobe North zone C senatorial zone.
“I am the elected candidate; I did not withdraw for anybody and will not withdraw because, as a matter of right, that is the mandate given to me by members of our great party, the delegates. So surreptitiously removing my name, I consider, is very undemocratic, illegal and of course inhuman.
“Insha Allah, I will take measures, first by reminding and appealing to my party that if this action is truly done, it should be corrected, especially if it is erroneously done. We are seeking redress from the National Working Committee of our party under the able leadership of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the national chairman, that there is an anomaly and we need it to be corrected.
“I remain the candidate and it remains so. I hope our leadership will take the necessary measures. We will work hard to exploit and explore all the necessary channels as provided by our guidelines. In the event of the contrary, as Nigerian citizens and as law-abiding citizens, the constitution of our country is the overall law above every aspect of our lives as Nigerians, I would have no choice but to resort to court (legal) action.
“This is what I intend to inform Nigerians through this medium, that an abnormality and illegality are about taking place, and it is undemocratic. This is a democratic party. It is always the will of the people that is supreme and the greatest justification of the will of the people is by casting their votes, as they did to elect me. This is a confidence reposed on me by the electorate in my senatorial district and this is the most minimal challenge I will face to defend their right.”
Below is part of the APC senatorial candidates list:
Chief Hon. Emeka Atuma (Abia Central)
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North)
Hon. Blessing Nwagba (Abia South)
Abdulaziz Nyako (Central)
Elisha Cliff Ishaku (North)
Adamu Ismaila (South)
AKWA IBOM STATE
Emaeyak Ukpong (Akwa Ibom North East)
Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio (Akwa Ibom North West)
Martins Udo-Inyang (Akwa Ibom South)
Okelekwe E. Boniface (Anambra Central)
Ify E. Anaozuonwu (Anambra North)
Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji (Anambra South)
Sen. Atiku Abubakar Bagudu (Central)
Hussaini Sulaiman Kangiwa (North)
Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah (South)
Ohere Abubakar (Central)
Sen Isah Jibrin (East)
Karimi Sunday Steve (West)
Hon. Eshilokun Wasiu Sanni (Lagos Central)
Sen. Mukhail A. Abiru (Lagos East)
Idiat Oluranti Adebule (Lagos West)
Danladi Halilu ESQ (Nasarawa North)
Tanko Almakura (Nasarawa South)
Shehu Tukur (Nasarawa West)
Shuaib Salisu (Ogun Central)
Olugbenga Daniel (Ogun East)
Sen. Olamilekan Adeola (Ogun West)
Adeniyi Adegbonire SAN (Ondo Central)
Ipinsagba Olajide (Ondo North)
Jimoh Ibrahim (Ondo South)
Ajibola Basiru (Osun Central)
Israel Famurewa (Osun East)
Amidu Tadese Raheem (Osun West)
Dr. Yunus Akintunde (Oyo Central)
Sen. Fatai Buhari (Oyo North)
Sarafa Ali (Oyo South)
Hon. Diiket Satso Plang (Plateau Central)
Christopher Giwa (Plateau North)
Rt. Hon. Simon B. Lalong (Plateau South)
Ndubuisi U. Nwankwo (East)
Oji N. Ngofa (South East)
Asita Honourable O. (West)
Ibrahim Lamido (Sokoto East)
Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako (Sokoto North)
Ibrahim Danbaba Abdullahi (Sokoto South)
Marafa Bashir Abba (Central)
Sani Danladi Abubakar (North)
Danjuma Usman Shiddi (South)
Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe East)
Sen. Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North)
Sen. Mohammed Bomai (Yobe South)
Sen. Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central)
Sen. Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (Zamfara North)
AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar (Zamfara West)
Hon. Zakaria Angulu