The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the final list of candidates for the 2022 governorship election in Ekiti State.
Only 16 out of the 18 recognised political parties made it to the list contained in the notification released by the commission on Monday.
INEC released the list following the close of nominations by political parties ahead of the June 18, 2022 governorship election in Ekiti State.
On the list, are Abiodun Oyebanji as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Olabisi Kolawole as his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart.
The primaries and nomination processes of the two dominant parties have been characterised by acrimony, with some governorship aspirants on the platforms of the parties who lost out, alleging foul play.
But both the incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi of the APC and an ex-governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, had their way with their favoured candidates emerging the INEC list.
While Mr Oyebanji, the APC candidate, is believed to be favoured by Mr Fayemi, his PDP counterpart, Mr Kolawole is known to be Mr Fayose’s preferred choice.
‘Parties with missing candidates can write INEC’
The INEC, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Festus Okoye, on Monday, called on political parties whose candidates’ names were missing on the list to formally write to the commission in that regard not later than 90 days to the election.
“The commission wishes to remind political parties that under Section 32(2) of the Electoral Act 2022, any party that observes that the name of its candidate is missing from the list “shall notify the Commission in writing, signed by its National Chairman and Secretary, supported with an affidavit not later than 90 days to the election”.
“Furthermore, the attention of parties is drawn to Section 32(3) of the Electoral Act 2022, which provides that failure to notify the Commission “shall not be grounds to invalidate the election,” Mr Okoye referenced.
The two political parties without a flagbearer according to the INEC list are Boot Party and Action Alliance.
Of the 16 candidates in the race, only two are female. One of the two female candidates, Christiana Olatawura, appeared on the list as the governorship candidate for the Action Peoples Party (APP) while the second, Elebute-Halle Kemi, is of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
The youngest candidate in the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State is the 38 years old Iyaniwura Ifedayo of the National Rescue Movement (NRM).