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APC loses Zamfara

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Court nullifies Rivers primaries
over Amaechi, Abe row
Buhari wields big stick, meets govs

WITH end not in sight for the spate of crisis rocking All Progressives Congress (APC) over controversies that trail the party’s primary election in many states, a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt yesterday nullified the nomination of Tonye Cole as governorship candidate of APC in the state.

Delivering its judgement in a suit filed by Ibrahim Imah and 22 others against APC, Justice Chiwendu Nwogu stated that APC ward congresses in Rivers were illegal, because they were not conducted in line with its Guidelines and Constitution, leading to Cole’s nomination on the basis of illegality.

The court did not equally spare aspirants nominated as APC flag bearers for the forthcoming 2019 Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections on the premise of the illegal ward congresses, also nullifying the elections of Rivers APC ward executives, local government executives and state executive committee.

Observers say this development may throw APC into another turmoil that may mar its chances in Rivers State.

Yet, in another twist, there are indications that All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost Zamfara State by the party’s failure to meet up with deadline for submission of candidates to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

An internal memo signed by Ag. Secretary of INEC, Okechukwu Ndeche, which found its way to the media indicates that APC will be ineligible to field candidates for any elective posts during the governorship and legislative elections, having failed to conduct its primaries as provided for under the timetable recently released by electoral commission.

According to the memo titled “Failure to conduct party primaries in Zamfara State within the stipulated time frame” and addressed to National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, partly reads:

“You would note from the timetable that the conduct of the party primaries is scheduled to take place between 18th August and 7th October 2018.

However, report received from our office in Zamfara State shows that no primaries were conducted by your party in the state, notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilised and deployed.

For clarity, our position is that the APC will not be fielding candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State for the 2019 general elections.”

However, Oshiomohole has refuted the claim by INEC that the party has not submitted list of its candidates for the forthcoming 2019 general elections in Zamfara State, adding that delegates affirmed the party’s list of candidates by consensus.

Meanwhile, in a bid to whip some turks in his party, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday held another fence mending meeting with some state governors elected on the platform of APC.

With the likes of Govs Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos, Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano and Kashim Shettima of Borno States in attendance, the meeting is believed to be part of President Buhari’s last minute efforts to track the spate of crises threatening to destabilise the party.

It will be recalled that nine APC governors met with Buhari last Thursday over the party’s primary elections in their states.

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