The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the expulsion of the G-5 governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would not in any way adversely affect their candidacy at the 2023 general elections.
Festus Okoye, the spokesperson for the electoral body, told Peoples Gazette.
“All the candidates that their names have been submitted will remain candidates until elections are over,” Mr Okoye explained to The Gazette ahead of the 2023 elections.
The INEC spokesperson stated that a political party lacks the power to substitute any candidate, given that the polls are barely eight weeks away.
“No political party can substitute any candidate,” Mr Okoye stressed, adding that “they will remain the candidates of the political party that nominated them.”
The G-5 governors are Governors Nyesom Wike, Seyi Makinde, Samuel Ortom, Okezie Ikpeazu and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
The governors rebelled against the leadership of Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP national chairman. They asked him to resign over allegations of corruption and failure to honour his own words, where he reportedly promised to resign if the PDP’s presidential candidate emerged from the North.
Mr Ayu reportedly said the PDP chair and presidential candidate could not emerge from the North, according to Mr Ortom, a member of the G-5.
The emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential flagbearer should mean Mr Ayu’s resignation, clamoured the G-5 governors who have also been pictured entertaining visits from Peter Obi, Labour Party presidential candidate and APC presidential standard-bearer Bola Tinubu.
Meanwhile, the PDP has threatened to sanction any party member engaging in anti-party activities, fuelling rumours that the aggrieved governors may lose their nominations at the polls.
But INEC’s clear position that the governors whose names had been submitted will continue to be the nominees of their political party will end such rumours.
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