National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole has faulted the directive of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the party should not field candidates for the 2019 elections in Zamfara state.
INEC said it barred the party from fielding governorship, state assembly, and national assembly candidates in the coming elections in the state because it did not meet the October 7 deadline for conduct of primaries.
But in a letter to INEC, Oshiomhole challenged the action of the commission, saying it is incorrect to state that primaries did not hold in Zamfara.
While he admitted that there was violence when the national working committee (NWC) of the party went to Zamfara for the exercise, Oshiomhole said the primaries took place but there was no voting.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.”
Accusing INEC of not being fair to the APC, Oshiomhole said the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano state did not conduct primary yet the commission did not take any action against the opposition party.
He said his party had up till October 18 to present its candidates for the election, adding that APC would respond to further inquiries from INEC after it had presented its flagbearers for 2019.