INCUMBENT Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and 28 candidates from other political parties are contesting the March 10 gubernatorial election in the state.
The number of candidates is higher than the 20 who would have contested last year if a judicial pronouncement had not led to a postponement.
Forty out of the 62 registered political parties in the country are operating in Sokoto State.
The list on display at the Sokoto State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed Yusha’u Muhammed Ahmed (ANPP); Engineer Abubakar Aliyu Yabo (CPC); Senator Garba Illah Gada (DPP) and Nasiru Aliyu (APGA) as contestants.
The name of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate was conspicuously absent from the list as he was said not to have submitted the relevant forms within the stipulated period. ACN is the only party that prevented the PDP from winning all the elections from the council polls to the National Assembly polls as it won councillorship seat in Gudu local government area.
Others on the list are Bello Abubakar (AA); Abubakar Aliyu (Accord); Sulaiman Aliyu (AD); Shehu Abdullahi (ADC); Muhammed Abdullahi (ALP); Inuwa Yusuf (APS); Umar Muhammed Farouk (ARP); Dahiru Bello Sokoto (BNPP); Jamilu Adamu (CPP); Abubakar Ahmed Balarabe (JP); and Mu’awuya A. Husseini (Labour); Ahmed Bello Ahmed (MPPP) and Kabiru Muhammed (MRDD).
Also on the list are Husseini Maidamma (NAP); Nasiru Aliyu (ND); Nasiru S. Lalabawa (NMPP); Kasimu Abubakar (NNPP); Ibrahim Babajo Ahmed (NSDA); Muhammad Ahmed Shagari (PDC); Salamatu Isah Abdullahi (PPA); Ahmed Ahmed JAO (PPP); Umar Bello (RPN); Rabi Umar (SDMP) and Abdulwahab Yahaya (UNPP).
According to the INEC timetable for the election, campaigns are scheduled to begin this month but they are yet to kick-off because of the recent nationwide strike over the scrapping of fuel subsidy.
But with the campaigns now expected to begin any time from now, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Baba Adisa Bolanta, has warned politicians in the state not to allow miscreants to hide under their political parties to perpetrate nefarious acts.
He lamented that political thuggery is now regarded as business in the state as thugs are ready to offer their services to anybody.
He assured politicians of a level playing ground and implored them not to allow their followers to carry any weapon of any sort because anyone found with even a stick at campaign rallies, would be treated as an armed robber.