(NO.5 MARERE, GUSAU-ZARIA ROAD, GUSAU, ZAMFARA STATE)
May 8, 2018
The Resident Electoral Commissioner,
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),
Gusau, Zamfara State;
All Progressives Congress (APC)
40, Blantyre Street,
Wuse 2, Abuja;
Ward & Local Government Congress Appeal Committee,
All Progressives Congress (APC),
C/O APC State Headquarters,
Gusau, Zamfara State
The Commissioner of Police,
Nigeria Police Force,
Zamfara State Police Command,
State Police Headquarters,
Ungwan Gwaza, Gusau;
The State Director,
Director of State Security Service,
State Directorate Headquarters,
The State Commandant,
Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps,
Gusau, Zamfara State.
RE: ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS (APC) ZAMFARA STATE WARDS, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND STATE CONGRESS ELECTIONS
Reference to the ongoing Ward, Local Government and State congress elections by the Zamfara State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (hereinafter referred to as ‘’the Party’’), We, the undersigned, representing ourselves and 3343 other Ward Congress member across Zamfara State crave your indulgence to report, admonish and inform as follows –
We and 3277 others that we represent here are bona fide card carrying and active members of the Zamfara State Chapter of the Party who evinced an intention to participate in the Party’s Wards Congress election scheduled for 5th May, 2018 and, following Party directives/guidelines, applied for the Party’s nomination forms by making payment into designated bank accounts of the Party. Copies of bank deposit tellers evidencing the payments made by us are hereby attached/marked as ANNEXURE CONGRESS A1 – A3342.
The Wards & Local Government Congress Committee (W&LGCC) charged with responsibility for the conduct of Wards and Local Government Congress elections for Zamfara State (hereinafter referred to as ‘’the Committee’’) chaired by one Ambassador Dauda Danladi arrived Gusau, Zamfara State effectively about 11.00pm on Friday 4, May 2018, less than 12 hours to the said congress elections scheduled to hold at 10.00am of Saturday 5th, May 2018.
Upon arrival, there being no time left we approached the Committee through its Chairman with our tellers aforementioned and requested to be issued with the Party’s nomination forms to complete and return preparatory to the congress election, less than 12 hours to the Ward Congress election that was scheduled to hold at 10.00am on 5th May, 2018. Regrettably, the Committee failed, refused or neglected to issue out the forms to us because, according to the its Chairman, all the forms issued to the Committee by the National Headquarters of the Party for the conduct of the Ward Congress election was just a little over 1000 in number, while a total of 4704 ward offices were up for contest.
Our representatives remained with the chairman of the Committee until about 4:00am of Saturday 5th May, trying to prevail upon him to issue nomination forms which our payment automatically entitled us to, but the chairman did not oblige us insisting that since the forms would not go round it would only create chaos or disaffection amongst Party members to issue same to only some members. We further attached herewith and mark as ANNEXURE B audio clips of our meeting and discussion with the Chairman of the Committee into the early hours of 5th May, 2018.
By guidelines issued by the Party for the conduct of said congress any intending contestant at the Ward Congress election must pay for, complete and return the Party’s nomination form by which he indicates his intent and nomination by bonafide members of the Party to contest at the proposed election. To this end, by the close of business on Friday 4th May, 2018 the only members of the Party who had complied with this regulation and entitled to contest the Ward congress election in Zamfara State were ourselves and the 3277 others we represent here.
We left the presence of the Committee Chairman in the early hours of 5th May, 2018 on the note/understanding that by reason of shortage of nomination forms, lack of adequate time for compliance with all the stipulations of the Party’s electoral guidelines (page 9 paragraph 2, and page 11 paragraph 2) and the inability of all stakeholders in the State to reach a consensus a joint meeting of all the Committee and all stakeholders should hold at the Zamfara State House of Assembly Complex at 9.00am of May 5, 2018 to discuss and agree on the way and manner the congress elections may proceed fairly.
However, to our greatest surprise, embarrassment and dismay the proposed joint Committee/Stakeholders meeting did not hold. Instead at about the time the elections was scheduled to begin we were informed that a list of 4,704 consensus candidates had been presented to and accepted by the Committee as Ward officers for all the 147 Wards in Zamfara State, thus foreclosing any further election proceedings to our prejudice. These events and is position was widely publicized in both the print and electronic media.
Remarkably, no one of the persons listed and announced by the Committee as purportedly elected at the botched congress election of May 5, 2018 indicated interest as candidates seeking election by paying for nomination forms in compliance with the Party guidelines for the said election.
Our duty now is to report that the position as reported by both the Ward and Local Government Congress Committee and affirmed/reiterated by His Excellency, Hon. Dr. Alhaji Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, the Governor of Zamfara State is deliberately false. Without fear of contradiction, we state that we were the only valid nominees for the Wards Congress election in Zamfara State being the only persons who indicated interest by paying prescribed fees for the Party’s nomination forms. No person, group of persons, including the Committee and His Excellency Hon. Dr. Alhaji Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari approached us to reach a consensus on the nomination/election of any of the persons being presently paraded to the public and all relevant regulatory agencies as elected members of Ward Congresses in Zamfara State.
Sirs, it would indeed interest you to know that from the very beginning, we had made it crystal clear that we are completely averse to consensus election and that the APC Ward Congress elections in Zamfara State must be conducted democratically. Our submission to this effect is contained in our petition dated 5th May, 2018 submitted on 5th May, 2018 to the Committee as early as 4:00am or thereabout. Copy attached here and marked as ANNEXURE CONGRESS C.
We reiterate the failures, deficiencies, shortcomings, breached of due process and issues highlighted in the said Annexure as they were neither considered, nor addressed by the Committee till this moment. In the light of the foregoing, we wish to state and inform as follows-
i. That all the 4704 persons whose names were published and declared as purportedly elected to Ward Congresses for all the wards in Zamfara State on the basis of consensus announced by the Committee, His Excellency, the Governor of Zamfara State and any other person howsoever described or called were not elected as such by any means (whether by direct election or by consensus), hence they are rejected for not representing the will of members of the Party at the Wards level.
ii. That the 3343 persons listed in the SCHEDULE WARD CONGRESS OFFICERS attached to this petition are the persons deemed to be duly elected as members of Ward congresses for all the Wards in Zamfara State being the only members who expressed their intent to be elected to such office, purchased nomination forms following party directives and remained unopposed till 5th May, 2018 i.e. the day of the said ward congress elections.
iii. That being the persons duly elected to all the Ward Congresses in Zamfara State, all the 3343 persons listed in SCHEDULE WARD CONGRESS OFFICERS are the only persons entitled to attend and vote at the Local Government and State Congress elections schedule to hold on 12th and 19th May, 2018.
iv. That consequent to the foregoing, all the 3343 persons listed in Schedule WARD CONGRESS OFFICERS shall be in attendance on the said dates to vote/elect the Local Government and the State Executives at the congresses to the exclusion of any other persons.
v. We appeal to you in INEC, that in being true to your statutory duties to monitor and supervise political parties in the conduct of their congress elections, to confirm our position as stated above and not to give or accord recognition whatsoever to all the persons purportedly elected by consensus to all the ward congresses in Zamfara State on 5th May, 2018.
vi. By the same token, we appeal to you in INEC to accord recognition and support to us and the 3343 that we represent here as the persons duly elected to the Ward Congresses and therefore entitled to elect the Local Government and State Executives at the congress elections scheduled for 12th and 19th May, 2018.
Now, having stated our position and intentions very clearly in the foregoing paragraphs, we like to put it on record that we are law abiding citizens with very high sense of responsibility. Our position above is informed by the knowledge of our fundamental right to self-determination as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act, as amended, mandatory stipulations of the APC Constitution and Electoral Guidelines made thereunder.
Following the now fashionable trend in matters like this, we would not be surprised if on the days of the Local Government and State Congress election all or any one of us, including any person that may be considered to be in sympathy with us are barred or prevented from attending at the venues of the elections to exercise our franchise using operatives or agents of the Police, Civil Defence Corps, Army and Air force men.
This tendency of using the law enforcement agencies and security forces to thwart/frustrate the democratic will of the people was conspicuously on display during the botched Ward congress election of 5th May, 2018.
Even while, we expect that there would be a repeat of this tendency, we must make bold to appeal to and admonish all law enforcement and security agencies, especially the Police, Civil Defence Corps and State Security Services, through the offices of the Commissioner of Police, State Director, State Security Service and State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps not to lend themselves to be used again by unscrupulous persons to frustrate the popular will of the people and the democratic process. Doing this would accord with your constitutional/statutory responsibilities/duties of defending the integrity of Nigeria.
We would continue to insist on true democratic practices at all levels and are keenly watching the unfolding developments in Zamfara State. We shall painstakingly document all events and tender them to appropriate authorities when the time of reckoning shall come for all actors. We finally remind of the wise saying –‘a stitch in time saves nine! We implore you to stich it now for the sake of the future of all the good people of this State.
May Almighty Allah grant us all the grace to embrace the truth always and the courage to do the right and just thing. Thank you.
ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS
A- P- C-
LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA