The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Tuesday in Abakaliki displayed the list of governorship candidates nominated by their respective political parties for the 2023 governorship race in Ebonyi.
Mr Francis Nwifuru, Speaker of the Ebonyi House of Assembly, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Prof. Bernard Odoh, a former Secretary to State Government (SSG) of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) made the list.
Also cleared by the commission to run for the governorship in Ebonyi was Chief Ifeanyichukwuma Odii of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Edward Nkwegu, Labour Party (LP) and Mr Chukwuma Nwandugo of the Action Alliance (AA).
Other governorship candidates shortlisted by the commission include; Dr Sunday Opoke for the Young People’s Party (YPP) and Mr Anthony Usulor of the Nigerian Renaissance Movement (NRM) among others.
Dr Joseph Chukwu, the INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), who announced the release to newsmen in his office in Abakaliki said that 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,” 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 commence on Oct. 12.
He, therefore, advised gubernatorial and the house of assembly candidates against flouting the provisions of electoral law by kicking off their campaigns before the stipulated time.
“246 candidates across political parties will contest for seats in the 24 state assembly 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 Oct .12 as provided for in the extent 2022 electoral law.
“It’s an offence for political parties or their candidates to embark on campaigns outside the INEC-approved timetable of activities,” Chukwu said.