Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would publish the final list of candidates for presidential, senatorial and House of Representatives elections on September 20.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in Abuja, yesterday, at the ‘Expert Meeting on Conducting Elections in Volatile Security Environment’, organised in partnership with Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
He said: “Activities towards the 2023 general election will enter the critical stages this month. In the next 19 days, that is on September 20, 2022, the commission will publish the final list of candidates for national elections (presidential, senatorial and House of Representatives), as provided in Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the commission.
“This will be followed on October 4, 2022 by the publication of the final list of candidates for state elections (governorship and state Houses of Assembly).
“Campaign in public by political parties will officially commence on September 28, 2022, as provided by Section 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022.”
The revelation by INEC means Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and former Governor Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), all of the All Progressives Congress (APC), will know their fate at the specified date.
The trio of Lawan, Umahi and Akpabio had picked senatorial tickets for Yobe North, Ebonyi South and Akwa Ibom North West respectively, after losing out at the APC presidential primary.
The move had sparked controversy, since most senate primaries were conducted before the presidential primary. Also, in its earlier publication, INEC had refused to publish the name of any candidate of the party in the affected senatorial districts.
Speaking further, Yakubu urged all political parties and candidates to focus on issue-based campaigns.
He said: “This is the best way to complement our efforts to ensure transparent elections where only the votes cast by citizens determine the winner.”