The Independent National Electoral Commission has published the final lists of candidate for the upcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States.
The Eagle Online recalls the Independent National Electoral Commission had earlier fixed November 11, 2023 for the polls.
Confirming the publication of the final lists of candidates for the polls on Tuesday was the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement.
In the statement, Okoye said the commission approved the lists of candidates for the three off-cycle electrons at its regular meeting held on Tuesday.
He said the decision was in line with the provision of Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, which requires the publication of the list not later than 150 days to election day, that is June 9, 2023, following the period for voluntary withdrawal and substitution of candidates by political parties under Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2022.
He said the final list has been uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms.
He said the same will be published in INEC State and Local Government offices in the the affected States on June 8, 2023.
The list showed that all of the country’s 18 political parties are fielding candidates in Kogi State, 17 in Imo State and 16 in Bayelsa State.
The list also showed that two political parties are fielding female candidates in Bayelsa State, one in Kogi State and none in Imo State.
Okoye added: “The Commission wishes to remind political parties and candidates that in line with Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the three elections, campaign in public officially commences on Wednesday 14th June 2023 in line with Section 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and ends on 9th November 2023 i.e. 24 hours prior to election day.
“Regrettably, the ugly incident last week involving the convoys of two political actors in Kogi State resulting in the destruction of vehicles and other properties ahead of the commencement of campaign is worrisome.
“We urge parties and candidates to conduct their political activities with civility and decorum as peaceful electioneering heralds a peaceful election.
“Political parties and candidates have a responsibility to de-escalate tension ahead of the elections.”