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INEC Clears Okpebholo, Ighodalo, Akpata 14 Others, For Edo Governorship Election



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has given final clearance to the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Okpebholo Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ighodalo Asuerinme, and Labour Party (LP) Olumide Akpata, to contest the September Edo State governorship election.

Also cleared are 14 other candidates, including candidates of Action Alliance (AA) and African Democratic Congress (ADC), which the commission explained,
conducted fresh primaries to replace their earlier nominated candidates.

INEC in a statement by National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee Sam Olumekun, said the parties were granted permission to conduct fresh primaries to replace their governorship candidates and running mates in line with the provision of Section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022.

“In addition, the African Action Congress (AAC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Boot Party (BP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), replaced the running mates of their candidates only,” INEC further disclosed.

The commission stated that out of 17 political parties fielding candidates in the election, 16 are male while only one is female.

The only female in the race is 50-year old Key Patience Ndidi of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

Further analysis showed that six political parties – Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), African Democratic Party (ADP), Action People’s Party (APP), Boot Party (BP), Labour Party and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), are fielding female running mates.

ADP is fielding the youngest candidates in the election, 37-year old Akhimie Kingson and his running mate, Obazee Ramatu, who is 35 years old.

INEC also announced the lifting of ban on electioneering campaign for the governorship, which it said, begins on Wednesday April 24 to end at midnight on Thursday September 19.

According to the commission, “As provided by Section 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, campaign by political parties in public shall commence not earlier than 150 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.”

It advised the candidates, agents and their supporters of the provision of the law and the commission’s guidelines governing electioneering activity.

“For emphasis, parties shall conduct their campaigns with civility and decorum devoid of inciting language, violence, voter inducement and other infractions mentioned in Sections 92 – 97 of the Electoral Act 2022,” the statement added.