The Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu, has denied seeking re-election on the platform of the Labour Party as listed on the final list released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, stating that he remains a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Okechukwu, who is representing the Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency in Enugu State at the House, therefore, faulted the inclusion of his name on the list of LP candidates by INEC.
INEC had, on Tuesday, released its final lists of candidates for the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections.
Publication of the list, which followed the political parties’ conduct of primaries and completion of the nomination exercise, was pursuant to “Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and item 8 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election,” INEC had said in a statement.
However, Okechukwu, who failed to secure the PDP’s ticket to seek re-election, in a statement issued on Wednesday and titled ‘I Won’t Contest in 2023, I Remain in PDP,’ expressed his regret that he would not run on the platform of the LP.
The statement read, “My attention has been drawn to the list of candidates for the 2023 general election released by the Independent National Electoral Commission on 20th September, 2022, wherein my name was published as the Labour Party candidate for Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, Enugu State.
“I wish to state that I will not be contesting as the candidate of the Labour Party or any other party in the said election. I remain a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Meanwhile, my position on this matter has since been conveyed to the National Chairman of the Labour Party in my letter dated 19th July 2022.
“I deeply appreciate and can never take for granted the overwhelming goodwill of my leaders, constituents and their wish for me to be on the ballot in the 2023 general election. I very much understand the pains my decision is bound to cause them. However, I believe and wish to reassure them that as a constituent, I will continue to do my best and be of utmost service to them in or out of public office.
“While thanking them for their immense support and love through the years, I am supremely confident that God will remain the ultimate compass in our affairs.”