Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has insisted that the party will present candidates for elective positions in Zamfara State in the 2019 general election.
He stated this in a statement he signed on Wednesday, in response to the directive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the party could not field candidates for the 2019 elections in ths state, on the premise that primaries did not hold to select candidates for political positions.
In a letter to the party, signed by the acting Secretary to the Commission, Okechukwu Ndeche, INEC had stated that according to the timetable released, all primary elections should have been between August 18 and October 7, 2018, but APC failed to conduct any in the state, and as such could not field candidates for the 2019 elections.
However, Oshiomhole described INEC's position as "devoid of fair hearing".
The statement noted that although primary elections were conducted between October 6 and 7, 2018, however, following “the high level of friction, disagreements and threatened violence by various political camps before the primaries, all the aspirants met at City King Hotel, Gusau to find a truce. After hours of intense horse-trading, a consensus was reached within the spirit and context of the Electoral Act and the constitution of our party on the basis of which a list was produced which was confirmed/affirmed by all delegates present. This was done in strict compliance with section 87 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended)."
The statement continued: "The content of your said letter seem to conclude that no primaries were conducted by the APC in Zamfara State. We wish to state emphatically that nothing can be farther from the actual situation in Zamfara State.
"It is our contention, in the circumstance, that your letter is not only preemptive, but your position seems to negate the spirit of any fair hearing and is devoid of legal bias.
"Be INFORMED, that in the spirit of due compliance with the law, we affirm that we shall indeed be presenting candidates for Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly Elections in Zamfara State for the 2019 general election before the deadline for submission of such names which has been fixed by your commission on the 18th of October, 2019 and in line with section 87 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
"If you raise further observations AFTER you receive our list of candidates, we shall be glad to clarify them."