APC VS INEC: Zamfara Senator sides with electoral body

OrderPaperToday- Kabir Marafa, the Senator representing Zamfara Central in the Senate and an All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial aspirant, has backed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to bar his party, the APC from fielding candidates at all levels of elections in the State.

Recall that in a letter to the APC, INEC barred the ruling Party from partaking in the 2019 elections in Zamfara, following the APC’s failure to hold party primaries and submit its list of candidates before last Sunday’s deadline set by the Commission. Responding to INEC’s letter, the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole argued that the party arrived at consensus candidates before the deadline.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Senator Marafa stressed that contrary to the submission of APC Chairman, there was no APC primary election in the state, neither was there a consensus candidate. He further noted what he described as “treason” moves by the State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari to proceed with an election that was cancelled by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

His words: “I read the letter from INEC and they quoted the relevant sections of the law that gives them the right to say what they said and I also read the response of the National Chairman. I have a little disagreement with what the National Chairman said.

“Knowing who he is and what he stands for, I believe he is being misled, probably by the committee that went to Zamfara to conduct the primaries. What I can say as a stakeholder that was present throughout the process is that there were no elections in Zamfara up till 12 midnight of Sunday, 7th October, 2018.

“There was also no consensus from anybody or by anybody, so if the committee reports to the NWC that there was consensus, that is absolutely wrong. I always stand on the side of the truth even if it affects me.”

Furthermore, Marafa said he remains a member of the APC and is willing to wait another four years to contest in the elections, although he would be glad if there is still a legitimate window for the party to field candidates for the 2019 polls.

Marafa continued: “One thing is clear; there was no election and no consensus. So, what does the law say in such situation? Let us base our arguments there.

“If the APC has the right to fill in candidates without election or consensus, so be it but if we cannot because we had no election or consensus then we cannot (participate). Any attempt to do otherwise will put the party in a more precarious situation.

“If we are not allowed, we will look at other options and if we do not have another option we can wait for another four years and learn the other side of politics.”

When asked what his other options are, he simply replied, ”they are my options, and when the time comes I will exploit it,” even as he refused to dismiss rumours that he might work with the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Zamfara state ahead of 2019.

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