BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has wielded the big stick on the All Progressives Congress (APC) over non-compliance with guidelines for the conduct of party primaries in Zamfara State.
The commission has therefore disqualified the APC from fielding candidates for all elective positions in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections.
The position of the electoral Commission followed the inability of the APC to meet the October 7, 2018 deadline for conducting party primaries to elect candidates for the 2019 general elections.
In a letter to the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the INEC said that its decision is based on the provisions of Section 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The letter which was signed by the Acting Secretary of the Commission, Okechukwu Ndeche said based on the provisions of the Electoral Act (as amended) the electoral body does not expect that the APC to names of any candidates from Zamfara State.
The INEC particularly drew the attention of the APC to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections released by the Commission on January 9 2018.
Ndeche further said; “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.”
“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.”
The Zamfara State chapter of the ruling APC failed to hold a successful primary owing to crises that bedeviled it as different rival political camps battled each other in their attempt to outdo each other.
While the crisis lasted, the National leadership of the Party was unable to resolve and settle its members particularly the major two camps belonging to Governor Abdulaziz Yari and his major rival, Senator Kabiru Marafa.
While Governor Yari wants his preferred aspirant, who is his commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Mukhtar Idris to succeed him, Senator Marafa, a leading governorship aspirants, rejected what he considered as the manipulation and high handedness of the governor to foist Idris on the party.