Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has blamed the lingering crisis between the ruling party and Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on what it described as ‘his taking the wrong route’ in the conduct of the primaries in the state.
The ruling party also revealed that it jettisoned the warning from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to submit the nomination of candidates from Zamfara State.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, told newsmen at the party’s secretariat that INEC lacks the power to disqualify candidates from the political parties.
According to the party, “We submitted list of candidates for legislative elections in Zamfara State, if INEC did not take it, it is a different thing.
“We have a right to submit and INEC has the legal responsibility to receive. INEC cannot disqualify candidates we all know that.
“We have said clearly that whatever claims that INEC is making is not correct or a true representation of what happened and we will continue to take progressive steps to ensure that INEC does what is right,” he said.
Reacting to the crisis in Ogun State, the APC spokesperson recounted the incidents that resulted in the rejection of the primaries conducted by the governor, stressing that, “The question to ask is whether they were the one who gave directive to him to organise his own primaries or they were the one who instructed him not to participate in the primaries or his candidate not to participate in primaries the party organised.
“If he didn’t do all of that and there has not been that consciousness to self appraise and ask himself, have I done the right thing?
“Am I asking for what is fair? Am I not putting the party in a position to ask them to do what’s wrong?
“Those are the questions we expect Governor of Ogun State to ask himself.
“He needs to self appraise, look at the actions he has taken and come to that conclusions that he’s taking the wrong route,” he noted.
On the crisis in Kaduna State, Issa-Onilu, insisted that, “It was the outcome of the primary, properly conducted.
“The party tried to protectits members in the national assembly for obvious reasons following what has been going on the national assembly.
“We know the carrots that had been dangled at them. We have a responsibility to ensure that we have a grip on the legislative arm of government so that we can run a smooth government.
“So, we tried to protect our legislators. But the other people can only understand and accept that.
“If they say no, there is nothing the party can do it is within their right to say we must go to the field.
“The initial effort of the party did not get the blessing of other people in that area who are also entitled to bid for positions.
“The primaries were eventually conducted, Sen. Shehu Sani opted out, he relied on the earlier decision.
“At the end of the day, no matter what plan you have even though you are acting on expedience, rule of law, democracy will prevail. It was democracy that prevailed in Kaduna,” he insisted.
The APC spokesperson equally reacted to the Supreme Court ruling on Rivers State, explaining: “The Court ruling on the Rivers APC governorship primaries has been subjected to different interpretations. As at today, the party has not yet taken a position on the ruling.
“We have a legal department and they will look into it and do what is right on it. The party will come out clearly on its position after studying the judgment,” he promised.
On the Imo State primaries crisis, he said: “The issue of submission of governorship candidates to INEC falls due on November 2, so we haven’t reached the stage of where we will submit names or beat the deadline.
“You are aware that there was a court action challenging the Imo governorship primary election.
“The position of the party is that whatever court judgment, good or bad we must comply with it.
“We will only decide who will be APC’s governorship candidate for Imo state by November 2,” he said.
He equally reacted to the outburst of the VON DG, Osita Okechukwu, describing it as the ‘ranting of a looser’.