Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would definitely field a governorship candidate for Zamfara in 2019 election.
Okorocha, who is also the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, stated this while speaking with newsmen after a closed door meeting with some APC Governors on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC in an earlier letter to the APC, had said that the party was not eligible to field candidates for Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Zamfara in 2019.
The INEC in the letter signed by Mr Okechukwu Ndeche, its acting Secretary, accused the APC of not conducting primaries in Zamfara within the stipulated time-frame according to the Electoral Act.
The letter read in part: “Please refer to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections released by the commission on Jan. 9, 2018.
“You would note that from the timetable, the conduct of primaries is scheduled to take place between Aug. 18 and Oct. 7, 2018.
“However, report received from our office in Zamfara state shows that no primaries were conducted by your party in Zamfara, notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilised and deployed.
“Consequently, based on the provision of Section 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the commission does not expect that your party will submit names of any candidate from Zamfara state.”
Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, while responding to INEC`s accusation had said that nothing could be farther from the actual situation in Zamfara, stressing that the party did conduct primaries in the state.
Okorocha in reacting to the development, said the party`s National Working Committee (NWC) was looking into the issue with a view to addressing it, adding that the APC conducted primaries in Zamfara.
“It is the outcome of the election that we are looking at now. There is one thing to say there was no election and another thing to say there was improper election.
“Which ever the case maybe, there was an election in Zamfara, as hot as it was.
“Zamfara issue is what we are looking at, but definitely, there was an election in the state and nobody will say there was no election.
“It is left for our party to look at it, and we are looking at it and we are going to come out with the best solution,” Okorocha said.
He added that the APC NWC would look at the challenges, adding that definitely it has a governorship candidate for Zamfara in 2019.
Okorocha, however, noted that the APC still had challenges of internal democracy, saying that whenever there were primaries or elections, disagreements would always come up.
He expressed optimism that the APC would come out victorious in 2019 general elections because Nigerians believe in it.
The Imo Governor added that the APC was not in any way disturbed with the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic.