Exempts Gana, NASS candidates in Zamfara, Rivers
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday released the final list of presidential and National Assembly candidates for the next month’s election.
Prominent among those cleared for the February16th presidential and national assembly candidates, are the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Their running mates, Prof. Osinbanjo Oluyemi Oluleke (APC) and Obi Peter (PDP), were also cleared for the election.
The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) is however missing in the list.
It will be recalled that two candidates, Prof. Jerry Gana and Mr. Donald Duke, are currently laying claim to the party’s ticket.
The case is presently at the Court of Appeal further hearing.
Similarly, in an obvious obedience to court orders, the governing APC does not have National Assembly candidates in Rivers and Zamfara States.
Aside Buhari and Atiku, INEC also cleared Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim of Peoples Trust (PT) and Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), for the presidential election.
The list of clearance by INEC equally showed that the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, an online Newspaper, Mr Omoyele Sowore is the presidential candidate for African Action Congress (AAC) while Pastor Chris Okotie is Fresh Party candidate.
Governors Ibikunle Amosu, Ajimobi and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun, Oyo and Imo States, respectively are senatorial candidates of the party in Ogun and Imo States.
While Amosu is flying the APC flag for Ogun Central senatorial election, Okorocha is the senatorial candidate of the party for Imo West.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu were cleared as well. Saraki is PDP candidate for Kwara Central while Ekweremadu is flying the party’s flag in Enugu West.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara is the PDP candidate for Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa/Balewa federal constituency.
Two terms former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, was cleared as the APC senatorial candidate for Abia North while Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State is the PDP candidate for Kwara South.
The Prof Mahmoud Yakubu-led INEC has however assured that it would release the list of candidates cleared to contest gubernatorial and House of Assembly candidates, on January 31.
The two elections are billed to hold on Saturday, March 2 this year.