The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 13 other parties contesting the September 19 governorship election in Edo State are expected to formally submit the names of their candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) today. INEC had already ruled out extending the deadline and INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Information, Festus Okoye, reaffirmed yesterday that come rain or sunshine, the deadline would not be extended.
“The deadline said that all political parties must submit the names of their governorship candidates and their running mates. The deadline remains June 29. Once it is 6 pm, the portal would be shot down. The commission would not extend the deadline,” Okoye said. When asked why only one day was set aside for submission of the names, Okoye said: “That is the guideline because submission is done virtual; you don’t need to come to Abuja to submit.”
Though 15 political parties are expected to participate in the election, it is largely seen as a straight fight and a re-match of the 2016 gubernatorial race between the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, who is running on the ticket of the PDP after defecting from the APC; and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu the hand-picked candidate of former suspended and embattled APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The PDP will thus submit the name of Obaseki as its governorship candidate, while Obaseki’s deputy, Philip Shaibu, is his running mate. Obaseki is from Edo South Senatorial District while Shaibu is from Edo North. In nominating Shaibu as his running mate, Obaseki said at the weekend that there was no need to change a winning team.
The APC will submit Ize-Iyamu and Hon. Gani Audu, the state lawmaker representing Etsako West Constituency 2 in the Edo State House of Assembly, who emerged as the running mate to Ize-Iyamu.
It is believed that the choice of Audu, a former Chairman of Etsako West LGA, was strategic to counter the popularity of Shaibu in Edo North.
Following last Thursday’s ratification of the APC primary election conducted in Edo State by NEC, the new Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee; Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni, will submit the APC list while Prince Uche Secondus will expectedly submit the Obaseki-Shaibu list as the governorship candidates of the PDP.
Among the dignitaries at the funeral were Governors Umar Ganduje (Kano); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat; Oyo State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan; Senator Teslim Folarin; Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, as well as APC governorship candidate in the 2019 general election, Dr. Adebayo Adelabu. Others include Chief Kola Daisi; Mrs. Kemi Alao-Akala, wife of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala; Senator Abdulfatai Buhari, Hon. Shina Peller, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, Olamiju Alao-Akala and some former members of the Ajimobi cabinet.