After examining the gubernatorial primaries conducted by political parties in Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared 14 candidates for the polls scheduled for September.
Among the candidates cleared for the exercise was the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, who left All Progressives Congress (APC) for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osagie Ize-Iyamu and 12 others.
The candidates were cleared on Saturday, in a statement made available to newsmen, on the final timetable adopted for the poll.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, revealed that the electoral umpire has displayed the final list of candidates at its offices in Benin City, the state capital, and the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.
Okoye, while adding that the list has also been uploaded on the Commission’s website, explained that the action of INEC was in compliance with its Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election and in accordance with Section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“By Section 35 of the Electoral Act and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the Commission, the withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the Edo Governorship election ended on 13th July 2020.
“With the publication of the final list of candidates, no political party can withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates or tamper with the list and particulars of the candidates in a manner inconsistent with the intendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act,” he added.
According to the list released by INEC, 12 of the candidates are male and the remaining two are female.
Okoye, meanwhile, urged the participating political parties to pay close attention to the timelines stipulated in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the commission, as well as the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.