INEC Deadline Forecloses Fresh Primaries for APC

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By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Despite constituting an appeal panel to look into the petitions generated from its just-concluded primary elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) may not be able to hold fresh primaries due to the expiration of the time frame set for it by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), THISDAY has learnt.

According to the timetable for party primaries approved by the commission, all party primaries were expected to end midnight last Sunday.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Yekini Nabena who spoke in an interview with THISDAY, said that the party was awaiting the report of the appeal committee to enable it decide on the next line of action.

He said that complaints and protests were normal in party politics and that the party would use internal mechanism to resolve grievances  that may arise .

“Whether Mr. A or Mr. B won, there will always be complaints and that does not invalidate the process; the appeal panel is going to consider the merit of every petition. The party will set up a committee that will reconcile all the aggrieved aspirants so that our people will unite for the election,” he said.

On what the party’s leadership plans to do with petitions and spate of protests that have trailed the primaries, Nabena said the party is waiting for the report of the appeal committee.

“You see that is why it is called democracy; you cannot satisfy both sides at the same time. There must always be a winner if you like it or not. Even though the winner is from the left or right, the right would complain or the left would complain. 

“So, the party is going to set up a committee to talk to all the aggrieved parties because there is no loser at the end of the day so that people can come together and work for victory of the party”.

On the controversy associated with the conduct of Zamfara State governorship primary, 

he said the primary election committee has just arrived Abuja and would brief the National Working Committee (NWC) on their report.

“The reports have not reached us. When we see the reports, we would look at it. That is why there is an appeal committee, which is there to resolve their problems.

“We are waiting for the report of the committee so when they come up with their report we will take a look at the report and treat appropriately,” he added.

Nabena stated that the party has finished action on all the state governorship primaries except the one for Zamfara State.

He explained that the remaining issues were the National Assembly and state assemblies’ reports which were still coming in.

He assured that once they were through with it, the party would compile all the lists and forward to INEC.

Kogi, Edo, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Ondo,  Osun and Anambra states are not due for elections in 2019.

Meanwhile, as an aftermath of Monday’s protest by aggrieved members of the APC over the conduct of the primaries in some states, mobile policemen have been placed on high alert around national secretariat of the party.

Several truck loads of anti-riot policemen were stationed around the APC national secretariat to check any further protest.