Court judgement decided fate of APC in Rivers, Zamfara – INEC tells Oshiomhole

February 14, 2019
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has admonished the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, over his allegations that the Commission has not been fair to APC and is working with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to short-change it in the general elections. The Commission stated that the inability of APC leaders to manage their internal crisis and round up the primary elections of the party to nominate candidates in the two states laid the foundation of the party’s problem which was sealed by the court judgements in both states. He cautioned that APC national chairman that INEC is not working with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), reminding him of the consequences of propaganda taken too far.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, told Oshiomhole that the Commission is not a political party, saying that the fate of APC in Zamfara and Rivers states was as a result of judicial pronouncements.

“It is not true that the Independent National Electoral Commission is working hand in gloves with any political party to do the wrong things. The issue of Zamfara and Rivers are well known.

“In the case of Zamfara, the Commission had written to the APC leadership to notify it that, due to its inability to conduct its primaries in Zamfara State within the stipulated time as required by law, the party cannot field candidates for the governorship election.

“Thereafter, two cases were instituted in court resulting in two rulings which were delivered the same day. The Commission then adopted one of the rulings.

“In the case of Rivers, it was the Supreme Court that took a final decision on the fate of APC. Therefore, both cases were purely judicial and INEC, being a law abiding institution, will always obey court orders/judgment.

“The Commission is not a political party and does not have a candidate for the forthcoming general elections. Our duty is to provide a level playing field for all registered political parties and ensure that elections are conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner,” Oyekanmi declared.

Oshiomhole in a media interaction on Wednesday, in Abuja, accused INEC of being grossly unfair to APC, saying further that the Commission is working for PDP.

“If there is anything, this INEC has been very, very unfair to APC. As we speak, there are two RECs (Resident Electoral Commissioners) that are virtually campaigning side by side with PDP.

“INEC, without giving us any concrete explanation or giving concrete evidence went ahead to say that we cannot field candidates in Zamfara State, thereby seeking to award without any contest, nullify democracy in Zamfara State.

“INEC is working more for PDP based on the evidence I can show. How can they explain that a court of competent jurisdiction gave orders in Zamfara to say these candidates are eligible to contest the election and another High Court in Abuja gave the verdict saying APC did not conclude its primaries but it did not give an order to INEC,” Oshiomhole declared.

However, it is on record that the impasse between Oshiomhole and Governor Abdulazeez Yari of Zamfara State over emergent candidates from the factional primary elections generated in-cohesion that disorganized APC from accepting emergent candidates from the conflicting factions.

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