IPAC warns INEC not to postpone elections because of APC as Malami denies calling for postponement
Mahmood Yakubu

The Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, postponing elections in Rivers and Zamfara States because of the internal crisis that has dogged the All Progressives Congress, APC.

IPAC, the umbrella body of all the 91 registered political parties in Nigeria, made the call in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Imo Ugochinyere in response to the reported call by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to the electoral umpire to consider postponing elections in Zamfara State.

According to Ugochinyere Malami’s letter to INEC should be ignored as it was an invitation to anarchy.

He said all political parties were fully prepared for the election.

IPAC’s Publicity Secretary argued that it would be counter-productive if the commission begins to shift the date of elections due to the internal issues of any political party.

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), has denied asking INEC to postpone all the forthcoming general elections apart from the presidential poll in Zamfara State.

Speaking through his Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, Malami said that the media reports were false and misleading, as he had only asked the INEC to extend the time within which the All Progressives Congress might field candidates in the forthcoming elections in the state.

The statement read in part, “The attention of the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to a recent publication by certain social media and conventional news outlets stating that this Office had purportedly requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the elections in Zamfara State.

“The Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation wishes to emphatically reiterate that this report is false and misleading.

“In our letter dated February 13, 2019 addressed to the INEC Chairman, the Honourable Attorney of the Federation in reacting to a petition from M.A Mahmud informing this Office of the subsisting Court of Appeal decision in CA/S/22/2019 which effectively upheld the APC primaries in Zamfara state, wrote to INEC informing them of this development and requested the Commission to comply by extending the time within which the political party candidate in the Gubernatorial elections can be accommodated.”

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The minister had in his letter dated February 13, 2019 and addressed to the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, asked the commission to comply with a certain judgment of the Court of Appeal affirming the primaries of the party in the state.

Malami had urged INEC to grant the APC more time to field candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and state House of Assembly elections in the state, adding that section 38 and 39 of the Electoral Act empowered the commission to postpone the election.

His letter stated, “In view of the fact, now that the Court of Appeal has upheld the primaries as valid, the APC in Zamfara State will need a little time to catch up with its contemporaries in the election.

“Granting them this concession is not necessarily a favour but a right that inures to all contestants under similar circumstances.

“Consequent on the above, INEC is invited to comply with the judgement of the Court of Appeal by admitting the results of the APC Zamfara State Primaries and to also comply with the provisions of Section 38 of the Electoral Act which empowers INEC to postpone the election for the governorship, National Assembly and House of Assembly Elections.”