A stalwart of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Zamfara State, Alhaji Musa M. Hassan has applauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for maintaining the status quo on its earlier decision to stop the All Progressive Congress (APC) from participating in the upcoming governorship, National and State Assembly elections in the state due to alleged non conduct of primary elections by the party.
The Independent National Electoral Commission yesterday issued a Press statement affirming its earlier decision to stop the All Progressives Congress from presenting candidates for the forthcoming general elections in Zamfara state.
Speaking with newsmen, the APC stalwart said the decision by the electoral body to reject the APC candidates unilaterally nominated by Governor Abdulaziz Yari was an indication that the commission is willing to conduct a free and fair election in the forthcoming elections.
He urged citizens of the state to remain dogged and resist all forms of corruption, impunity and or imposition of inept leaders by ‘any self-centred political Godfather’ henceforth in the state.
It will be recalled that INEC had earlier said it would release the final list of the governorship and State Assembly candidates on Thursday, and however, said the status quo remained unchanged in the state.
The commission made the clarification in a statement issued on Wednesday night by its National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
He said, “The Independent National Electoral Commission met on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, and among other things approved the final list of candidates for the governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections scheduled to hold on March 2 2019.
“On the whole, there are 1, 066 candidates for the governorship elections, 14, 583 for the State Assembly elections and 806 for the FCT Area Council elections broken down into 105 Chairmanship candidates and 701 councillorship candidates.
“The commission reviewed the situation concerning the APC fielding candidates for the governorship and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State. The commission noted that there are two court judgements on the matter one from a State High Court in Gusau and the other from a Federal High Court in Abuja.
“The former judgement clearly said that the APC conducted primaries in Zamfara State, contrary to the position of the commission. On the other hand, the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that the party did not conduct valid primaries and therefore is ineligible to field candidates for the elections.
“The commission would like to reaffirm its commitment to obeying all court judgements, even when it disagrees with them. However, these are clearly two contradictory judgements delivered by two courts of coordinate jurisdiction on the same day.
“Consequently, the commission has decided to maintain its original position that the party in question did not conduct primaries and therefore, in line with Section 87 of the Electoral Act 20l0 (as amended), is not eligible to field candidates for the National Assembly, governorship and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State.