Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that no fewer than 123 candidates have won the party primaries to contest the November 16, Bayelsa and Kogi states governorship elections.
The statistics from the electoral commission, detailing the primaries conducted in the two states, released on Wednesday, revealed that while 59 candidates will be contesting for the Kogi state poll while 64 candidates will vie for the governorship election in Bayelsa State.
The documents equally disclosed that while some candidates emerged through direct, indirect or consensus mode of primaries, many others were picked unopposed through what the commission described as single- candidate by affirmation.
According to the documents, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Kogi State fielded a higher number of aspirants numbering 13, a total number of 10 aspirants contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Among those that contested the primary poll in which Wada Musa emerged winner were Abubakar Mohammad, Wada Idris, Dino Melaye, Mohammed Shuaib, Aminu Abubakar Suleiman, Erico Ameh Joseph, Victor Adejoh Alewo among others.
INEC named other aspirants as Babatunde Irukera, Hassan Abdullahi, Hadiza Iyoma Ibrahim, Yahaya Odidi Audu and Sani Lulu Abdullahi among others.
Among the six aspirants, according to the Electoral Management Board (EMB) that contested the Bayelsa State governorship party primary on the platform of the APC in which Lyon David emerged winner with 42,138 votes, included Diseye Poweigha, Prince Ebitimi Amgbare and former Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri.
The document revealed that the PDP which conducted indirect primaries, had the greatest number of aspirants numbering over 21, confirming that Senator Douye Diri, emerged the party candidate.
However, in a footnote by the INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the commission pointed out that parties may choose not to sponsor any candidate even after conducting the primaries.
“For purposes of clarity and avoidance of any ambiguity, the lists are not the list of candidates contesting the respective governorship elections. As stated in the heading, they are the result of the political party primaries monitored by the commission.
“Some parties may choose, for whatever reason, not to sponsor any candidate even after conducting primaries,” he noted.