The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday in Abakaliki displayed the list of governorship candidates nominated by political parties for the 2023 governorship race in Ebonyi State.
Speaker of the Ebonyi House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, and Bernard Odoh, a former secretary to the Ebonyi State Government, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, made the list.
Also cleared by the commission to run for the governorship in Ebonyi is Ifeanyichukwuma Odii of the Peoples Democratic Party, Edward Nkwegu, the Labour Party candidate and Chukwuma Nwandugo of the Action Alliance.
Other governorship candidates on the INEC list include Sunday Opoke of the Young Progressives Party and Anthony Usulor of the Nigerian Renaissance Movement.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ebonyi, Joseph Chukwu, who announced the release to reporters in his office in Abakaliki, said the display was in line with Section 32 (1) of the Electoral Act.
“The law empowers the commission to display the final list of the authentic candidates for any election 150 days to the Election Day,” Mr Chukwu said.
According to him, 13 political parties fielded governorship candidates and their running mates for the March 2023 gubernatorial election in Ebonyi.
He said that 15 political parties also fielded 246 candidates for the House of Assembly Election and added that campaigns for the governorship and state assembly elections would begin on 12 October.
The INEC official warned governorship and the House of Assembly candidates against kicking off their campaigns before the stipulated time.
“246 candidates across political parties will contest for seats in the 24 state constituencies in Ebonyi.
“We wish to warn that campaigns for the governorship and house of assembly elections have not started; the campaigns will commence on October 12 as provided for in the 2022 electoral law.
“It’s an offence for political parties or their candidates to embark on campaigns outside the INEC-approved timetable of activities,” Mr Chukwu said.
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