INEC Blocks APC’s participation in Zamfara Elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has told the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party is not eligible to present candidate for elective positions in Zamfara state in 2019.
Information gathered by Naija News revealed this is because the APC failed to successfully hold a primary for elective positions in Zamfara State before the October 7 deadline stipulated by the electoral umpire.
INEC has already notified the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in a letter signed by the acting secretary of the commission, Okechukwu Ndeche as reported by PREMIUM TIMES.
Recall the Zamfara State chapter of the APC held parallel primaries which were unresolved before INEC deadline and ended up leaving the party without clear candidates for the 2019 general elections.
The major tussle was between the camps of the state Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and a senator, Kabiru Marafa.
Mukhtar Idris, the state commissioner of finance, is the preffered candidate by Governor Yari to succeed him in 2019 while Senator Marafa, kicked against what he described as Mr Yari’s high handedness and attempt to impose a candidate on the party.
The APC national headquarters, in a bid to resolve the crisis, dissolved all party structures in the state while also directing My Yari, himself a senatorial aspirant, to stay clear of all matters relating to party primaries in the state.
The NWC decision however, led to a fresh battle between Mr Oshiomhole and his deputy, Lawal Shuaibu, with both camps going ahead to organise parallel primaries which produced different sets of candidates.
The electoral panel sent to the state by the party’s national leadership, declared that it was unable to organise primaries in the state.
To this end, INEC has now, in a letter to Mr Oshiomhole, titled “Failure To Conduct Party Primaries in Zamfara State Within The Stipulated Time Frame”, stated that it is not expecting any list of candidates from the party for Zamfara State.
The commission in its letter, made reference to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections released by the commission on January 9 2018.
“You would note from the timetable that the conduct of party primaries is scheduled to take place between 18th August and 7th October 2018.
“Kindly also refer to the last schedule communicated by your party to the commission on the dates of party primaries nationwide, including Zamfara vide your letter Ref. APC/NHDQ/ INEC/19/18/51 dated 3rd Oct. 2018.
“However, report received from our office in Zamfara State shows that no primaries were conducted by your party in the state, Notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilized and deployed.”
INEC also said based on the provisions of Section 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), “the commission does not expect that your party will submit names of any candidates from Zamfara State.
“For clarity, our position is that the All Progressives Congress (APC), will not be fielding candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly Elections in Zamfara state for the 2019 for the general elections.”
As it stands, INEC’s decision may have paved the way for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which appears to be the strongest opposition party in the state, a real chance of taking over the mantle of leadership in Zamfara.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Bello Matawalle, has already been declared as the PDP governorship candidate in Zamfara for the 2019 elections.