By; BUHARI B. BELLO, Jos
A former member representing Pengana Constituency and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Plateau State,, Hon Gondina – Musa has petitioned against the purported fresh conduct of APC Primaries for the seat of Member Plateau State House of Assembly Pengana Constituency of Bassa Local Government Area,
Hon. Sambo, a businessman and card carrying member at the All Progressives Congress (hereafter referred to as APC) under Kadamo Ward of Bassa Local Government of Plateau State who came second position had vehemently rejected idea of conducting another primaries as contrary to electoral act .
He emphasized that upon release of the guidelines for the conduct of Primaries by diverse political parties into various elective offices in Nigeria by the Plateau APC Aspirant Inependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) (hereinafter referred to as INEC indicated interest by purchasing the expression of Interest Form of APC to participate in its primaries to select a candidate that will bear the party’s flag in the 2019 General Elections for the position of Member, Plateau State House of Assembly representing Pengana Constituency.
Sambo explained that the said APC primary was conducted some time in October, 2018 where himself and the Late Hon. Ezekiel Bauda Afon emerged the winner with 106 votes.
He lamented that having the highest number of votes, the late Ezekiel Bauda Afon became the party’s flagbearer in the 2019 General Elections into the Plateau State House of Assembly representing Pengana Constituency.
After the 9th March, 2019 governorship and House of Assembly elections, Ezekiel Afon emerged winner but died shortly after his declaration were he call on the attention of the state to consider him as second aspirant who scored 83 Votes .”while the APC was still in the mood of celebration then i came a very sad mourning moment of the euphoria of the victory, the candidate who bore the party’s flag, Ezekiel Afon Monday died.
“While we are still mourning the demise of Late Ezekiel Afon, some numbers of the party at the Local Government level decided on their own to conduct what they termed as ‘Primary Election’, allegedly to select a flag bearer for the APC for whatsoever election best known to them.”
He frowned that, “can the said group at the Local Government conduct a primary election after the general elections has been conducted, concluded and APC declared winner?
“Can the said conduct of a fresh primary without due notice to INEC as required by law in disregard of the primaries conducted by the APC sometime in October and accepted by INEC be valid?”
He pointed out that “Can there be a valid primary election without INEC supervision and the presence of security agencies?
“Can there be a valid primary election without the party‘s ballot papers? It is settled that elections are contested and won by political parties and not candidates.
“This position has been settled by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as is only a political party that can canvass for votes on behalf of a candidate as provided by Section 221 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”
Sambo explained that the provision was a blessing to the Supreme Court when decided in the case of Amaechi. In MIAECHI Vs. INEC (2008) ALL FWLR (My 497) Pg. 1 @ 97-93 Per Oguntade J SC, the Supreme Court held that;“Without a political party, a candidate cannot contest. The primary method of contest for elective offices is therefore between parties.
“If as provided in section 221 above, it is only a party that can canvass for votes, it follows that it is a political party that wins an election. A good or bad candidate may enhance or diminish the prospect of his party in winning but at the end of the day, it is the party that wins or loses an election.
“The Court went further to state that:In mundane or colloquial terms, we say that a candidate has won an election in a particular”