The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently released the names of the various senatorial candidates across the different political parties for the 2023 elections and some key names which have sparked controversies over the last few weeks were missing. The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, vying for Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial Districts were absent on the list released by INEC, amongst others. 

An unnamed INEC official speaking to a Nigerian news outlet before the release of INEC’s list stated that they omitted the duo of Ahmad Lawan and Godswill Akpabio from the list because they didn’t win the primary election monitored by an INEC staff. 

  • He added that the positions for the All-Progressive Congress in Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West were blank.  

In case you missed it 

  • DIG Ekpo Udom (rtd) earlier won the primary election held on May 27th 2022 for Akwa Ibom North West. But a re-run primary election produced Godswill Akpabio as the ticket bearer of the senatorial district. 
  • Bashir Sheriff Machina solely contested the Yobe North senatorial district and secured the party’s ticket with 289 votes.

What they are saying 

  • The National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, had urged Bashir Sheriff Machina to relinquish his candidacy to Ahmad Lawan with threats to sanction Machina if he refuses. 
  • Meanwhile, Bashir Sheriff Machina has promised not to bow to the pressure by the party as he rightly gained the party’s ticket. 
  • The National Commissioner, Voters Registration, Education and Publicity, Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Festus Okoye, said INEC had the right not to publish the names of candidates that did not emerge as the party’s candidate through valid means. 

What you should know

  • The trio of Ahmad Lawan, Godswill Akpabio and Dave Umahi contested in the presidential primaries of the All-Progressive Congress (APC).
  • Political analysts say that the trio are fighting for senatorial seats as backup plans following their losses in the presidential elections. 
  • INEC would publish the final list of valid candidates of all political parties across the electable offices on the 20th day of September 2022.
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