- The APC said insisted that it will field candidates in Zamfara and Rivers states in the forthcoming elections
- INEC had earlier said the party is not eligible field candidates in Zamfara state
- The ruling party, however, said it will continue to explore all possible legal means to ensure it field candidates
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has vowed to field candidates in Zamfara and Rivers states despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s decision barring it from doing so.
The APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, stated this on Thursday, January 31, in Abuja, Vanguard reports.
Issa-Onilu insisted that the party conducted primaries in the states and “would follow up all the legal means to ensure that our candidates stand for elections in this 2019 general elections in Zamfara and…Rivers.”
He claimed that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party did not conduct primaries in Kano state and INEC did not disqualify its candidates.
His words: “Let me add that in Kano State, PDP did not do any primaries and yet today, INEC is not saying anything regarding PDP and all the candidates submitted for PDP in Kano were accepted.
‘’This is a fact that nobody can deny but we will not go to town to start pillorying INEC, this is a very critical institution to the success of any election.
“We heard that INEC is relying on the fact that courts of equal jurisdiction have given conflicting judgements. We can understand that. What it thus means is that it is not over and then we will continue to take steps.
“We are very certain, we did the right thing. The primaries held, INEC was not satisfied with that but it is our right to field candidates and we would follow up all the legal means to ensure that our candidates stand for elections in this 2019 general elections in Zamfara. Same situation for Rivers.”
The APC spokesman added that the current situation shows the invalidity of the PDP’s claims that INEC is working for the ruling party.
He said: “It also shows for people who are discerning to ask that question, this is supposed to be the APC that INEC is or ought to be working for? And this is what we are going through in the hands of INEC that PDP has repeatedly claimed is put in place to rig elections for APC.
“May I remind all of us that we had primaries in Zamfara, which was affected by conflicts but the process allows for three different options. You could go for indirect, which is an electoral college, you could go with direct that allows every card-carrying member of the party to vote for their chosen candidates and then thirdly, you could go by consensus.
“We have the right under the constitution to exhaust these options. We did so.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that INEC again maintained its stand that the APC in Zamfara is not eligible to field candidates.
The decision was reached after reviewing two conflicting judgements on the issue from the courts.
INEC disclosed this in a statement by Festus Okoye, the national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education.
He said the position was supported with section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“The commission reviewed the situation concerning the All Progressives Congress (APC) fielding candidates for the governorship and state assembly elections in Zamfara state.
“The commission would like to reaffirm its commitment to obeying all court judgements, even when it disagrees with them. However, these are clearly two contradictory judgements delivered by two courts of coordinate jurisdiction on the same day.
“Consequently, the Commission has decided to maintain its original position that the party in question did not conduct primaries and, therefore, in line with Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), is not eligible to field candidates for the National Assembly, governorship and State Assembly elections in Zamfara state.”
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