A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State, Kabiru Marafa, has declared his support for the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the APC does not have candidates in the state for the 2019 general election.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how INEC declared the APC ineligible to field candidates for all elective positions in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections.
This, the electoral commission said, is because the party failed to meet the October 7 deadline for conducting primaries to elect candidates for the elections.
In its response, the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, said the party will present its candidates for all elective positions in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections despite contrary directive by the electoral commission.
Mr Oshiomhole claimed that the party adopted consensus candidates in Zamfara, which he said was a valid way of selecting candidates.
Mr Marafa, however, faulted that claim.
Mr Marafa had on Thursday told journalists that the electoral commission was right to declare the party ineligible as he said there was no election in the state.
“I read the letter from INEC where they quoted sections of the law that influenced their position. I also read the response made by the APC National Chairman (Adams Oshiomhole). I want to believe the chairman has been misled by the APC’s electoral committee that went to Zamfara. But as a stakeholder who was present and witnessed the whole process that happened, there was no election in Zamfara on Saturday, October 7, 2018.
“Also, there was no consensus from anybody or by anybody. So, the election committee reported in the contrary. I think that was absolutely wrong. I always stand by the side of the truth. I want to say the truth even if it is against me.
“If you force any consensus or you claim there was one, there is going to be a revolt that there was no consensus, and anybody and some have the right to go to court. But if under the law, the APC has the right to field candidates, they can go ahead to do it without recourse to either election or consensus. Let us get one thing clear and correct. That there was no election, no consensus,” he said.
On Friday, however, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara met with President Muhammadu Buhari after which he said primaries held in the state. Mr Yari and Mr Marafa are political adversaries despite being in the same party. The governor’s insistence on having his way in the primaries is believed to be what led to violence and eventually put a halt to the initial primaries that commenced in the state. The APC headquarters had to appoint two different election panels as well as caution the state executives of the party and Mr Yari.
In a statement on Friday, Mr Marafa reiterated his stance that there was no primary election in the state and also warned the party against illegalities.
The lawmaker also distanced himself from a report that Mr Oshiomhole met with all aspirants of the party. He said he was not aware of the meeting.
“My attention has been drawn to an online publication headlined: ‘Oshiomhole meets Zamfara Guber aspirants, as party considers Lawal.’
“I want to state emphatically that nobody invited me to any meeting after the failed attempt to conduct primaries/consensus as at 12am Sunday 7th Oct 2018.
“I want to restate further (for emphasis) that there was neither election nor consensus reached among APC aspirants in Zamfara state,” he said.
The lawmaker, who represents the Zamfara Central Senatorial District at the Senate, said he would not be party of any move to trade with the APC governorship ticket of Zamfara, insisting that due process and rule of law must be religiously adhered to.
“I will not be a party to any attempt by anybody to sell the tickets of APC to any desperate politician(s) by anybody. I will resist any attempt by anybody to do so. May Allah guide us to the straight path and give us the ability to act justly and fairly,” he added.
Mr Marafa had in June, declared his intention to vie for the governorship slot.
He said he joined the race due to “numerous calls from members of the party in the 14 local government areas of the state.”
The lawmaker had pledged to fight corruption, injustice and provide the much needed leadership to stimulate the growth and development of the state. He also pledged to provide security as well as look at the state’s legal system to make it conform with the true teachings of Islam for the benefit of all.
The state has been affected by violence in recent months with armed bandits killing scores of people and destroying several houses. The lawmaker has continuously blamed the state governor, Abdul’aziz Yari, for the high rate of insecurity and poverty in the state.