The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published the final list of eligible candidates for the Sept. 19 Governorship Election in Edo State.
A statement issued by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee stated that political parties can no longer withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates.
Okoye said INEC’s publication was done by displaying list of the candidates at the commission’s offices in Benin, the Edo State capital and the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, which has also been uploaded on the Commission’s website.
The list published on the commission’s website and at the 19 local government areas of the state showed that incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will slug it out with 12 other candidates.
According to Okoye: “By Section 35 of the Electoral Act and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the commission, the withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the Edo Governorship election ended on July 13, 2020.
“With the publication of the Final List of candidates, no Political Party can withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates or tamper with the List and particulars of the candidates in a manner inconsistent with the intendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
“We urge Political Parties to pay close attention to the timelines stipulated in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the Commission as well as the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.”
INEC had set July 13 as the deadline for withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the state election.
Before the expiration date, only three parties – the Action Alliance (AA), Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) substituted their candidates earlier nominated for the poll.
The two female governorship candidates were Mabel Oboh of African Democratic Congress (ADC), and Agol Tracy of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); while the two female deputy governorship candidates were Mogbelehan Pauline of Labour Party (LP) and Omion Omonye of Social Democratic Party (SDP).