Zamfara: Buhari did not interfere in INEC’s job – Sen. Marafa

By Harrison Arubu

The Senator representing Zamfara Central at the National Assembly, Sen. Kabiru Marafa, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing justice to prevail in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, Marafa said the president deserved commendation for not influencing the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the matter.

The senator was reacting to INEC decision to maintain its earlier stand to exclude the APC from participating in the forthcoming general election in the state.

INEC made its latest position known on Wednesday following two contradictory court judgments on the matter on Friday.

A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu held that INEC acted within its powers by refusing to accept lists of candidates from a faction of APC in the state.

It agreed with the commission that the APC failed to conduct valid congresses in the state before the Oct. 7 deadline given to political parties to do so.

The second judgment was delivered by Justice Muhammad Shinkafi of the state High Court in Gusau.

Shinkafi affirmed that primaries were conducted, and asked INEC to accept the candidates produced from the primaries.

However, INEC on Wednesday, after studying the two judgments, decided to maintain its earlier position on the matter.

“The party leadership under Buhari must be commended. It is very hard for any president to allow a commission, whose head he appointed, to bar his party from participating in election in a state that is more than 90 per cent his. Mr President never interfered because he is a man of fairness and justice,” Marafa said.

The senator, who is seeking the APC governorship ticket in the state, also lauded INEC for standing by its earlier position on the matter.

“This shows that the commission is not doing the bidding of any of the parties involved in our intra-party squabble.

“From the beginning, the commission took a weighty but truthful position on the Zamfara APC primaries logjam, in spite of the fact that our party is the ruling party.

“The development has shown that the commission will conduct credible, fair and transparent poll.

“We are urging INEC to always stand by the truth, no matter who is involved,” he said.

Marafa, while also commending Justice Ojukwu for her “sound judgment”, said the APC could still field candidates in the state if their prayers before the Court of Appeal in Sokoto are granted.

“We are very optimistic that a fresh window to conduct primaries opposed by Gov. Abdulaziz Yari, will by God grace be granted by the Appeal Court,” he added. (NAN)

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