John Alechenu and Eniola Akinkuotu
The All Progressives Congress has proposed September 24, 2018 as the date it intends to hold primaries to elect governorship candidates in 30 states of the federation.
The APC’s 2019 electoral activities will begin on September 8, 2018 with nationwide congresses to elect delegates for the national convention of September 19, when the presidential candidate of the party will be chosen.
The party stated this in a letter written to the Independent National Electoral Commission by its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole .
However, the APC has queried the INEC for allegedly leaking the letter. The party argued that the dates contained in the document were not sacrosanct because they were subject to change.
In a copy of an acknowledged copy of the letter obtained by Saturday PUNCH, in Abuja, on Friday, the party’s national chairman requested that the election management body should prepare to send its officials to monitor the series of events listed in the document.
Oshiomhole also listed the proposed dates for the federal and state assemblies, governorship and presidential primaries.
The letter, dated August 17, read in part, “Please be advised that our party has scheduled to hold its congresses and primary elections for the nomination of candidates in respect of the 2019 election,
“This serves as a formal notification pursuant to the provisions of section 85 of the electoral act 2010 as amended. Kindly arrange your officials to monitor the exercise accordingly. While hoping to receive your cooperation; please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”
According to the letter, the primaries are scheduled to hold as follows: Saturday, September 8, nationwide congresses to elect delegates to the national convention (presidential); Saturday, September 19, national convention to elect the party’s presidential candidate.
Saturday, September 19, house of representatives candidates; Thursday, September 20, pick senatorial candidates; Monday September 24, pick governorship candidates; Saturday, September 29, house of assembly candidates.
While confirming the authenticity of the document and denouncing INEC for allegedly leaking it, the acting National Publicity Secretary, APC, Yekini Nabena, said Oshiomhole authored the leaked letter.
Nabena however explained that the dates contained in the document were subject to change.
In a statement he sent to newsmen, Nabena said, “Our attention has been drawn to a leaked letter the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole wrote to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, informing the commission of the schedule of the congresses and primaries to elect party candidates for the 2019 general elections.
“These leaks of our sensitive and confidential correspondence to INEC are becoming commonplace and totally unacceptable. We strongly request that INEC looks into its internal handling of official correspondence and put a stop to these leaks.
“While the leaked formal notification to INEC has been done by the APC pursuant to the provisions of Section 85 of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), we advise the general public particularly the media to wait for an official announcement from the Party as the leaked dates are subject to changes, if necessary.”
The INEC could not be reached for comments as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the African Democratic Congress has fixed its presidential primary for September 29, while the FCT primary was fixed for September 11.
Speaking with Saturday PUNCH on the telephone, the Chairman of the ADC, Chief Okey Nwosu, said, “Our first primary will be that of elective positions in the FCT which will take place on September 11. We will show to Nigerians and other political parties how a proper primary is conducted.
“The primaries for legislative and governorship positions will take place from September 21 while the presidential primary will hold on September 29, 2018.”
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