The electoral commission, INEC, has released the full list of candidates cleared to contest the state assembly and governorship elections.
The governorship and state assembly elections are scheduled to hold on March 2 across Nigeria.
In the list sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the commission, no candidates of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, were listed for Rivers and Zamfara states.
INEC had said it would not allow the APC field candidates in Zamfara because the party did not hold primaries within the stipulated time. Internal wrangling among leaders of the APC in Zamfara led to the inability to hold the primaries within the stipulated time.
Although the APC faction loyal to Governor Abdulaziz Yari claims it held congresses and has candidates, the faction loyal to a senator, Kabiru Marafa, has insisted no primaries held. The party headquarters also said no primaries held but said it adopted consensus candidates within the stipulated time.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how two separate courts in Abuja and Zamfara gave conflicting judgements on INEC’s stance. While the court in Abuja said the commission acted right, that in Zamfara ruled that the APC did conduct primaries and INEC should ensure the party presents candidates for the general elections. The electoral commission, however, says it would abide by the judgement of the Abuja court.
In Rivers, a federal high court recently ruled that the APC disobeyed a high court order on its congresses and so its primaries that produced its candidates were null and void.
The APC in Rivers is split into two, with a faction loyal to the transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and another loyal to a senator, Magnus Abe.
It is based on the high court ruling that INEC refused to recognise any APC candidate in Rivers. The commission, however, said it would wait to see if the appeal court would give a different ruling on the controversy.