The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced plans to issue certificates of return to newly elected governors, deputy governors-elect, and State Assembly members-elect from Wednesday to Friday.
In a statement on Saturday, March 25, 2023, INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye highlighted that Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 mandates the commission to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been elected under the law.
The certificates will be presented in INEC offices in each state of the federation from March 29 to 31, 2023.
“Pursuant to the above provision, the commission has fixed Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th, and Friday 31st March 2023 for the issuance of certificates of return to governors and deputy governors-elect as well as State Assembly members-elect. The presentation will take place in INEC offices in each state of the federation,” the statement read.
“Specific dates for the issuance of the certificates shall be communicated to those elected by the resident electoral commissioners and administrative secretaries of the various states.”
So far, results from 26 out of the 28 governorship elections have been announced. The elections in Kebbi and Adamawa were declared inconclusive.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged victorious in 15 states during the recent elections, securing the re-election of seven incumbent governors, including Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara. In addition, the APC introduced eight new governors-elect, such as Umar Namadi in Jigawa, Ahmed Aliyu in Sokoto, and Dikko Radda in Katsina.
In contrast, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won nine states, with two incumbent governors—Seyi Makinde of Oyo and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi—securing re-election. The opposition party also saw the election of seven first-time governors, including Peter Mbah in Enugu, Umo Eno in Akwa Ibom, and Siminialayi Fubara in Rivers. A notable victory occurred in Zamfara, where PDP’s Dauda Lawal unseated the incumbent governor and APC heavyweight, Bello Matawalle.
Moreover, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate Abba Kabir ousted the APC in Kano State, and the Labour Party’s Alex Otti clinched a win in Abia, which had been a PDP stronghold for several years. These election outcomes demonstrate a shift in political power and underline the importance of diverse representation in Nigeria’s political landscape.