2023: Lawan, Akpabio in limbo as INEC states position on Yobe, Akwa Ibom primaries
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no candidates for Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial Districts in the 2023 elections.
The INEC’s National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, stated this in a Channels Television’s programme, Sunday Politics.
He said the commission did not recognise any APC candidate for both senatorial zones.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who represents Yobe North is battling to get the party’s ticket after losing the APC presidential primary.
The winner of the primary election held in the district in May, Bashir Sheriff Machina, rejected several overtures to withdraw from the race in favour of the Senate President.
A former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio is running for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial seat.
He also vied for the APC presidential ticket.
Like Machina, the winner of the primary election in the Akwa Ibom North, Udom Udo Ekpoudom, refused to step down for the state’s former governor.
APC later opted to substitute the names of Machina and Ekpoudom with that of Lawan and Akpabio, a move that was rejected by the commission.
Okoye said: “In these two constituencies, two names were forwarded and the commission made a determination that the names were not persons who emerged from validly conducted party primaries and we did not publish their names. That is where we are.
“Their (Lawan and Akpabio) names were uploaded by the APC to our candidates’ nomination portal but the Commission made a determination that they were not the candidates that emerged from valid party primaries.
“The commission did not publish their names and their particulars in their constituencies. So, the implication is that as of today, the APC does not have candidates in those two constituencies.”
INEC had last week dismissed reports that it backdated documents to accommodate Lawan and Akpabio as senatorial candidates for the 2023 general elections.
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