As INEC studies court order on Rivers
No primaries, consensus in Zamfara APC —Marafa
Nothing has changed—INEC
By Henry Umoru, Egufe Yafugborhi & Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, denied receipt of any letter from Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, barring it from fielding candidates in next year’s general elections in Zamfara State, saying the letter exists only in the sphere of social media.
The party thus charged INEC to probe the source of the letter.
INEC was, however, unwavering in its assertion that the party had been barred from fielding candidates in Zamfara as it dismissed assertions that the party chose its candidates through consensus.
INEC also, yesterday, said it was still studying the situation in Rivers State as regards the court judgment that annulled the election, which enthroned the present officials of the party in the state.
APC acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, while reacting to the development in Zamfara State said: “When you say INEC is insisting on disqualifying us, which of the INEC? Even the letter that was purportedly sent by INEC, who signed it?
“Was it signed by the chairman of INEC or the secretary? Does INEC serve letter online instead of serving it on the party?”
He also said the commission had no right to determine who the party puts forward for elections.
“INEC has no right to determine whose name a political party sends to it as its candidate. They do not have the right and they know it. That is why I am asking: who signed the letter? So, the chairman of INEC should investigate that letter,” Nabena said.
On whether the letter was “received” by the party, Nabena said: “I did not see that in the party. I have been looking for the hard copy in the party (secretariat) but I have not seen it. The letter that I have seen so far is online, in the social media.
On the disqualification of the party candidates in Rivers State by the court, Nabena said the APC was still waiting to obtain the Certified True Copy of the judgment before taking its next action.
INEC didn’t conduct primaries in Zamfara
Meanwhile, Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum, Downstream and one of the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship aspirants in Zamfara State, Senator Kabiru Marafa, yesterday, threw his weight behind INEC, saying the party did not conduct primary elections in the state.
According to Senator Marafa, the APC also did not agree on a consensus candidate from the number of aspirants that vied for the position of governor.
Addressing journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, Marafa said: “I read the letter from INEC where they quoted sections of the law that influenced their position. I also read the response made by the APC national chairman. I want to believe the chairman was being misled by the APC electoral committee that went to Zamfara .
“But as a stakeholder who was present and witnessed the whole process that happened, there was no election in Zamfara on the Saturday, October 7, 2018.
“Also, there was no consensus from anybody or by anybody. So, the election committee reported in the contrary. I think that was absolutely wrong. I always stand by the the truth. I want to say the truth, even if it is against me.”
Nothing has changed—INEC
However, in its reaction, INEC said it would stand by its earlier position barring the APC from fielding candidates for elective public offices in Zamfara State.
Director, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, told Vanguard that nothing has changed.
“We stand by our earlier position. Nothing has changed. There is no way we can accept any name,” he said.
INEC studying Rivers court judgment
On the disqualification of APC candidates in Rivers, he said; “We have to read the judgment and see what it says exactly. Did it disqualify all of the candidates or a particular one? We have to get the court judgment and see what is on it because even the media reported that the party has two governorship candidates in Rivers.”
Rivers PDP asks APC to leave it out of its problems
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Rivers State, yesterday, admonished the APC to leave Governor Nyesom Wike out of what it described as the growing disintegration the APC faces in the state.
Rivers State PDP Publicity Secretary, Darlington Orji, gave the admonition in response to a statement by the Ojukaye Flag Amachree-led Rivers APC faction, accusing Wike of stoking the lingering crisis rocking the state APC following Wednesday’s court judgment, which sacked Amachree’s faction and nullified all party primaries it had conducted.
Orji said: “Leave Wike out of it. APC is on extinction. They are already doomed with crisis. And the crisis is not only in Rivers, but everywhere. You saw what is happening in Zamfara, Abia and Delta States and all. Is Wike still the person responsible for those crises?
“APC is a political party that is run by a sole administrator. That is what is prompting all the reactions you are seeing from people. Was it Wike who also asked the 23 persons that paid for nomination forms and alienated from contesting the Rivers APC chairmanship election?
“The APC know their problem is internal, and they need to look inward to solve their problems.”
He added that Wike was focusing on developing Rivers State and not meddling in internal affairs of the APC.