The All Progressives Congress (APC) has disagreed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the conduct of primaries in Zamfara State.
INEC says primaries were not held in the state within the stipulated time-frame, but the APC insists that it duly held the exercise.
In a letter addressed to INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, on Wednesday, APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, insisted that the party would field its candidates in the 2019 general elections.
Oshiomhole explained that the party’s decision was in line with the provisions of Section 87 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“Be informed, that in the spirit of due compliance with the law, we affirm that we shall indeed be presenting candidates for Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly Elections in Zamfara State for the 2019 general elections,” he said.
This, he wrote, was to fulfill the party’s obligations “before the deadline for the submission of such names which has been fixed by your Commission on the 18th of October 2018 and in line with Section 87 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended)”.
Oshiomhole’s reaction comes barely 24 hours after the electoral body wrote to the APC National Chairman informing him that the party did not conduct primaries in Zamfara State within the stipulated time-frame.
In a letter signed by the commission’s acting Secretary, Okechukwu Ndeche, on Tuesday, and addressed to the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, INEC stated that the APC failed to conduct primaries for elective offices in Zamfara.
“You would note from the timetable that the conduct of the party primaries is scheduled to take place between 18th August and 7th October 2018,” the commission wrote in the letter titled “Failure to conduct party primaries in Zamfara State within the stipulated time frame”.
The commission said, consequently, the party would not field candidates for the governorship and legislative elections.
But Oshiomhole faulted INEC’s declaration, claiming that the electoral management body acted in error by basing its decision to bar the APC from presenting candidates on a false premise.
He said, “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.
“It is our contention, in the circumstance, that your letter is not only preemptive, but your position seems to negate the spirit of any fair hearing and is devoid of legal basis.”