Hopes that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will contest the governorship election in Zamfara state next year appear to have been dashed after the party failed to beat the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the submission of names of its candidates for the 2019 general election.
INEC has already written to the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshimhole, informing him of the development, Premium Times reports.
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The letter, which was signed by INEC’s Acting Secretary, Okechukwu Ndeche, and obtained by the online newspaper, stated that though INEC officials were mobilised and deployed to monitor the APC governorship primary in Zamfara State, they reported that no such exercise held.
Therefore, in accordance to sections 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), INEC said it does not expect that APC will submit names of any candidates from Zamfara State.
The letter read in part: “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 general elections.”
The APC governorship primary election in Zamfara State had split the party into two factions, one loyal to the incumbent Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and the other led by a serving Senator, Kabiru Marafa. While Marafa is eyeing the governorship post, Yari had endorsed Mukhtar Idris, his current commissioner of finance, to succeed him.
Both factions had held parallel primaries, throwing up separated candidates, but none of the primary elections was monitored nor acknowledged by INEC.
the matter got even worse when the APC National Working Committee dissolved the entire Zamfara State APC executive and asked the governor to hands-off the primary election process. The party’s Deputy National Chairman, Lawal Shuaibu, who is from Zamfara State, rejected the decision and accused the panel sent to conduct the primary election of bias.