2023: Zamfara PDP barred from governorship race

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will not be featured in the 2023 gubernatorial election in Zamfara state. 

In a ruling by a Federal High Court sitting in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate, Dauda Lawan-Dare, saw his election as the party’s candidate nullified, and the party disqualified from the 2023 governorship race. Justice Aminu Bappa read the court’s decision to nullify Lawan-Dare’s candidacy on Tuesday, marking the second time that the court would nullify the PDP governorship primary over credibility issues, and resulting in the disqualification of the party. 

How did they get to this point? 

There have been disagreements within the party since its primary election earlier in the year. Ruling in September, in a suit filed before the court by Ibrahim Shehu and two other aspirants challenging the credibility of the party’s primary, the court nullified the initial election of Lawal-Dare and ordered a fresh primary election. In the re-run primaries, Lawal-Dare again emerged as the winner but his opponent, Ibrahim Shehu, would have none of it and headed to court again to challenge the election. 

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lamented the number of court cases relating to the forthcoming 2023 general elections. INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said the commission has been joined in about 600 cases relating to the conduct of recent primaries and nomination of candidates by political parties for the 2023 election. “The implication is that we are still dealing with issues of the nomination of candidates thereby eating into vital time for preparation of and procurement of sensitive materials for the election. It also means that the Courts will be dealing with the same issues long after the General Election”, Yakubu said on Monday. 

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