The Independent National Electoral Commission has said the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State is ineligible to field candidates for any elective office in the 2019 general elections, for failing to meet up with the deadline for submission of candidates.
This followed the inability of the national leadership of the party and the state government to reach a common ground on the conduct of party primaries before the October 7 deadline given by the electoral umpire.
Punch reports that INEC stated this in a memo signed by the commission’s acting Secretary, Okechukwu Ndeche, to the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
INEC said its decision was based on the provisions of Sections 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The memo is titled “Failure to conduct party primaries in Zamfara State within the stipulated time frame” and it partly read, “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.
“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 mobilised and deployed.
“Consequently, based on the provisions of Sections 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Commission does not expect that your party will submit names of any candidate from Zamfara State.
“For clarity, our position is that the APC will not be fielding candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State for the 2019 general elections.”
“Please accept the assurances of the Commission’s highest regards”.
The Zamfara chapter of the APC had split into camps headed by Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and Senator Kabiru Marafa.
Yari wanted Mukhtar Idris, the state commissioner of finance, to succeed him, a situation which put the entire primaries in disarray.
With this development, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which has already picked a former member of the House of Representatives, Bello Matawalle, as its governorship candidate for the 2019 elections, may take over the state.