The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that there is no going back on its decision to bar the All Progressives Congress (APC) from fielding candidates for the 2019 general elections in Zamfara State.
INEC’s stand came just as the ruling party which appeared ruffled by the likely fate that may befall it in the 2019 elections in Zamfara State is making frantic effort to sort out things.
The commission through its Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Osaze Uzzi, said it had not changed its position despite the protestation by the APC.
Speaking to THISDAY on telephone yesterday, Uzzi, who was on his way back to Abuja from a trip, said he could not confirm if the APC’s letter had been received or not.
When asked if the commission has changed its position based on the letter from APC, Uzzi said, “I don’t know whether it has been received or not but either, we still stand by our earlier position.”
INEC had on Monday declared APC ineligible to field candidates for all elective positions in Zamfara State in the 2019 election on the basis that it did not hold primaries in the state before the expiration of the stipulated deadline.
The position of INEC was contained in a leaked letter to the APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday. However, the party on Wednesday, replied INEC, claiming that primary elections actually took place in Zamfara State.
In the letter dated October 10th and signed by Oshiomhole, the party said INEC did not capture the true situation of the APC primaries in Zamfara State.
In the INEC’s letter titled, “Failure to conduct party primaries in Zamfara State within the stipulated time-frame,” the commission said APC failed to conduct its primary elections in Zamfara within the stipulated time-frame”.
In its submissions to INEC, APC said, “The contents of your 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”.
Meanwhile, APC has intensified efforts to get INEC to reverse its position on the Zamfara State primary elections. THISDAY gathered that apart from its letter to the commission, the party is also hoping to go ahead to submit names of candidates for the state.
A party source told THISDAY yesterday that the party is picking holes on the letter, which it said did not emanate from the Chairman’s office or that of Secretary to the commission.
It said that the party is insisting that as a political party it reserves the sole right to decide who its candidates for an election will be.