Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is yet to receive any request from any political party, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the substitution of governorship candidate or other candidates.
The name of incumbent governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, was missing when the electoral body displayed the list of candidates for the 2019 governorship election in the state last week.
The main opposition party had accused INEC of manipulating the process, while insisting that the party submitted the name of Tambuwal.
The National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan had said, “It is strange if his name did not make it to INEC as the candidate of the party. INEC has become very manipulative and they are shopping for candidates from the states. Candidates who didn’t obtain form from the party, candidates who never participated in processes or our primary election are now being enrolled on their list as their candidate.”
INEC had also insisted that as at the close of nomination for governorship and State House of Assembly election, the PDP submitted the two names of their governorship and deputy governorship candidates.
According to the electoral body, the names submitted to INEC were Manir Muhammed Dan’iya as governorship candidate and Abubakar Zaki Bashir as deputy governorship candidate.
Speaking with THISDAY yesterday, INEC National Commissioner on Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye explained that if a political party did not submit any name during the process of submission of names of candidates, such a political party has nothing to substitute.
He added that it is only political parties that submitted names of candidates within the agreed period of time for submission that can substitute candidates.
“The issue of substitution of candidate is the internal affairs for all the political parties. All the political party still have a week to make substitution in accordance to the law.
“As at today, the INEC has not received any request from any of the political parties for substitution and have also not receive any request from the PDP for the substitution any of it’s governorship or other candidates.”
Okoye stressed that the moment any of the political party conforms with the position of the law and submits names for substitution, INEC would act in accordance with the law.