Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said yesterday that the commission’s stance on the issue has not changed.
INEC had barred the APC chapter from fielding candidates in the elections after allegedly failing to conduct primary elections.
The commission had set October 7, 2018 deadline for parties to conclude their primary elections. But divisions within the APC state chapter prevented an INEC-supervised election from taking place for the governorship and legislative positions.
Consequently, a letter signed by INEC’s Acting Secretary, Okechukwu Ndeche, and addressed to APC’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, stated that the party could no longer conduct any primary elections outside of the originally-stated window.
It added that the state APC would not be allowed to participate in the governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Zamfara next year.
The APC is insisting to participate in the election.
But, the INEC boss yesterday stuck to his gun, saying that the commission has not changed its earlier decision on the issue.
Yakubu spoke yesterday in Abuja at the end of the opening of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Network of Electoral Commission (ECONEC) meeting in Abuja.
The INEC boss, who was responding to questions from reporters, said: “We have issued a statement on Zamfara and nothing has changed. We stand by the statement that we issued.”
He also added that the October 18 date for the submission of list of candidates by the political parties is sacrosanct.
There are 91 parties. But only 89 notified the commission of their intension to conduct primaries.
Yakubu said: “I am sure we have made some progress, but the deadline as we say is on October 18.”
He ruled out any possibility of extension as he declared, “we will give a full report after the October 18. No extension”.