The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mahmoud Yakubu, has insisted, that the All Progressives Congress, APC, will not field candidates for the 2019 general elections in Zamfara state.
Yakubu stated this on the sideline of the opening of a two-day validation workshop entitled “Study on the cost of elections in ECOWAS Region.” which held in Abuja yesterday October 15th.
“We have issued a statement on Zamfara and nothing has changed. We stand by the statement that we issued,” he said.
The electoral commission in a letter to APC, said the party was barred from fielding candidates for governorship, National Assembly and state assembly elections because it failed to comply with Sections 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act of 2010.
Parties, according to the act, were expected to comply with the timetable and schedule of INEC, which says the conduct of primaries must be held between August 18 and October 7. INEC said it received reports from its Zamfara office, indicating that no primaries were conducted in the state “notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilised and deployed.”
APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in reacting to the claim, said there was no truth to INEC's statement. Oshiomole insisted that the party organised primaries in Zamfara within the stipulated time, candidates emerged and they would be fielded in the 2019 election. Oshiomole added that the claim by INEC that no primaries were conducted could only be referring to its officials’ observation that actual voting did not take place. The APC chairman said that conduct of primaries was not the only mode prescribed for producing candidates in the electoral act, 2010 (as amended).
The contents of your said letter seem to conclude that no primaries were conducted by the APC in Zamfara State. We wish to state emphatically that nothing can be farther from the actual situation in Zamfara State. Kindly find a comprehensive report from the Zamfara Electoral Committee of the All Progressives Congress and signed by all the members on the conduct of primary elections for the Zamfara State held between 6th & 7th October, 2018. The summary of the report, as you will find, is that following the high level of friction, disagreements and threatened violence by various political camps before the primaries, all the aspirants met at City King Hotel, Gusau, to find a truce.“After hours of intense horse-trading, a consensus was reached within the spirit and context of the Electoral Act and the constitution of our party on the basis of which a list was produced which was confirmed/affirmed by all delegates present. This was done in strict compliance with section 87 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended).
Therefore, the claim in your letter under reference that ‘no primaries were conducted by your party in the state, notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilized and deployed’ could only be referring to their observation that actual voting did not take place, which is not the only mode prescribed for producing candidates in the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). We, therefore, affirm that indeed primaries took place in Zamfara State.” Oshiomole's letter to the commission read