The 2023 gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states will be conducted in accordance with the Election Legal framework in Nigeria. This includes the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act of 2022, as well as all other ancillary policies of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC had set the date for the elections as November 11th, 2023, in compliance with Section 8(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which mandates that such elections be held no earlier than 150 days and no later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of the last holder of the office. The incumbent Governor of Imo State’s tenure will end on January 14th, 2024, while those of Kogi and Bayelsa States will end on January 26th, 2024, and February 13th, 2024, respectively.
INEC scheduled gubernatorial party primaries from March 27th to April 17th, 2023. All political parties contesting in the three states held their primaries within the stipulated timeline. On Friday, June 9th, 2023, the Commission published the final list of candidates who will be contesting in the gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo States in accordance with Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022. From the published list, all 18 political parties fielded candidates in Kogi State, 17 political parties in Imo State, and 16 political parties in Bayelsa State. Based on the list of candidates, only 2 political parties are fielding female governorship candidates in Bayelsa State, 1 political party in Kogi State, and no political party is fielding a female governorship candidate in Imo State. Political party campaigns have already begun in the three states and will continue until Thursday, November 9th, 2023.