Revisit Zamfara APC’s Disqualification From 2019 Elections Group Urges INEC
Revisit Zamfara APC’s Disqualification From 2019 Elections Group Urges INEC. The Coalition of Democratic Watchdog of Nigeria has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to revisit its disqualification of the All Progressives Congress from fielding candidates for elective positions in Zamfara for the 2019 general elections.
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National Coordinator of the coalition, Mr. Bob Opara, made the call at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that INEC had, on October 10, said that APC was not eligible to field candidates for governorship, National Assembly and state Assembly positions in Zamfara for the 2019 elections.
The commission, in a letter signed by Okechukwu Ndeche, its acting Secretary, said the APC was not qualified to field candidates because it failed to conduct primaries in Zamfara within the stipulated time-frame.
The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, while reacting to the development, had insisted that the party held primaries in Zamfara contrary to INEC’s stance.
He, however, said that primary election was not the only mode prescribed for producing party candidates for elections in the 2010 amended Electoral Act.
Opara stressed that the APC had held primaries in Zamfara, contrary to INEC`s believe, adding that it was in the nation`s interest for the commission to rectify the supposed disqualification ahead of the 2019 general election.
“In line with the provisions of section 153 of the 2010 amended Electoral Act, INEC is empowered to make regulations governing any election.
“In this instance, INEC’s stipulation that party primaries should end on the Oct.7 was adhered to.
“The international community is also watching with keen interest how an entire state controlled by the ruling APC is barred from fielding candidates in a primary that was well conducted,” he said.
He added that the coalition had been monitoring events following the fallout of the APC primary elections held on October 3 and 4 in Zamfara.
Opara maintained that contrary to INEC’s belief, the APC held primaries in Zamfara in the presence of the State Resident Electoral Commissioner; two Assistant Inspectors-General of Police; the Commissioner of Police in the state and the Director of Department of State Services in the state, among others.
He said that the primaries were held across the 147 wards that made up the 16 local government areas of the state.
He said violence, however, erupted in seven wards out of the 147 wards of the state.
This, the coalition coordinator said, led to the cancellation of the elections in the affected local government areas which later held the next day being October 4.
He, therefore, wondered why INEC was in a hurry to issue a statement disqualifying the APC from fielding candidates for Zanfara in the coming 2019 general elections while the primaries was still ongoing.
He said fortunately, INEC still had some time to correct the issues by doing the needful.
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