As the build up to 2019 continues, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As a result of the Cold War between State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari and the centre of the party over the conduct of primary elections, the party was unable to conduct primaries before the October 7 deadline imposed by elections regulator, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Premium Times had reported that INEC had told the National Chairman of APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, in a letter signed by the Acting Secretary of the commission, Okechukwu Ndeche, titled: “Failure To Conduct Party Primaries in Zamfara State Within The Stipulated Time Frame”, that it is not expecting any list of candidates from the party from Zamfara State.
Find below excerpts of the letter;
“Kindly also refer to the last schedule communicated by your party to the commission on the dates of party primaries nationwide, including Zamfara vide your letter Ref. APC/NHDQ/ INEC/19/18/51 dated 3rd Oct. 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 mobilized and deployed.”
INEC said based on the provisions of Section 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), “the commission does not expect that your party will submit names of any candidates from Zamfara State.
“For clarity, our position is that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not be fielding candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly Elections in Zamfara State for the 2019 for the general election”.
This comes against the backdrop of infighting within the Zamfara chapter of the party. Outgoing Governor, Abdulaziz Yari seeking to transition into the role of godfather had a preferred successor which he sought to foist upon the party which was met with disdain by Senator Kabiru Marafa, an aspirant to the office.
Cosequently, the APC national headquarters dissolved all party structures in the state while also directing Mr. Yari, himself a senatorial aspirant, to hands off all matters relating to party primaries in the state. This led to both factions conducting parallel primaries which the Party failed to validate and the subsequent declaration of ineligibility.