By Jonathan Ugbal
Ahead of the October 31, 2020 senatorial bye-election in Cross River northern district, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published the list of candidates for different parties participating in the elections.
The list which contains shockers including the All Progressives Congress decision to forward the name of Barrister Joe Agi against that of Professor Zana Akpagu who reportedly won the primaries has caused a shift in permutations.
Seven parties forwarded candidates details but the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the African Action Congress (AAC) may lose out before the elections proper.
For the PDP, INEC did not publish any candidate details due to a Court order obtained by one of the aspirants, Jarigbe Agom, a two time member of the House of Representatives.
This lends credence to reports that Mr. Jarigbe may end up having an upper hand in who becomes the next Senator than Governor Ben Ayade with whom he has had running battles with.
If this situation persists, the PDP will not have a candidate for the elections.
Only one of the six candidates whose details were published is female. Three are below 40 years of age.
Despite accepting the forms filled by Dino Magam whom the AAC forwarded as candidate, INEC published a different name entirely with no reports about how the candidate emerged.
This reporter gathered that AAC’s problems emanates from some aides of Governor Ayade deliberately trying to whittle down the influence of the State Chairman of the party, Agba Jalingo by sponsoring a faction loyal to its former National Secretary, Leonard Nzenwa.
The National Chairman and founder of the AAC, Omoyele Sowore had presented the party’s flag to Dr. Magam shortly after he emerged as candidate by consensus.
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