The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it will field candidates for all elective positions in Zamfara in the 2019 general elections, despite the insistence of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) that its candidates stand disqualified.
Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, stated this while reacting to the insistence of INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Monday in Abuja on the issue.
Yakubu had said that the commission stands by its decision to bar APC from fielding candidates for all elective positions in Zamfara come 2019, for failing to conduct primaries within the time stipulated in the election timetable.
The electoral body had earlier written to the APC, notifying it of its inability to conduct primaries for the 2019 polls in accordance with the commission’s approved deadline of Oct. 7.
“On Zamfara, nothing has changed. We have said it and we have earlier issued a statement on the position of things and that still remains our position,” Yakubu said.
He made the emphasis while speaking on the sideline of the ongoing three-day validation workshop on the study on the cost of election in the ECOWAS region.
The APC spokesman, however, said the party would go ahead to submit list of its candidates for all positions for Zamfara.
He added that the party would meet all requirements for submission of candidates from Zamfara state.
“INEC cannot say that we don’t have candidates for election until the deadline has expired.
“We have options of consensus, direct and indirect primaries and we are going to apply, like we have done in other states, our energies, time and concerns to pick our candidates.
“I can assure you that before the Oct. 18 deadline, we are going to meet all INEC requirements and we are going to submit names of all the candidates for not only Zamfara but the 36 states and the FCT,”he said.
The APC spokesman also dismissed the suggestion that the party might sue INEC, saying: “It is not yet something for the party to take legal action.
“Nothing calls for that. We would not be reacting to what INEC said in the public,”he said.
He explained that after the party got a letter from INEC, it replied it but was yet to receive a reply from the commission.
“We are on the side of the law, we had a primary in Zamfara. We are operating within the guidelines of INEC and the Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria.
“We believe that INEC does not have the correct information on what happened in Zamfara and this we have stated in our letter to the commission.
“They haven’t replied our letter, we also ask INEC that if they need more information from us, that we will be ready to offer it,”Onilu said.