By Sadiq Umar, Abuja – The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced that a fresh primary election will be conducted in Kogi state to pick a replacement for Abubakar Audu.
The announcement came just after the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had argued against a fresh primary, saying section 33 of the Constitution is clear on the option before the party.
“The issue is very straightforward. Fundamentally, section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear that in case of death, the right for substitution by political a political party is sustained by the provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act,” Malami had argued.
Adding, “And if you have a community reading of that section with section 221 of the constitution which clearly indicates that the right to vote is the right of a political party and the party in this case, the APC has participated in the conduct of the election.
“It is therefore apparent that the combination community reading of the two provisions does not leave any room for conjecture.
But speaking with reporters at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, said the decision to hold a fresh primary was taken after the APC received a letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking it to replace Audu.
It is not clear whether the primary is meant to endorse Abubakar Bello, the runner up aspirant in the last party primary.
According to Oyegun, “It’s in the public space already, that the chief law officer of the republic has made his views know on how things should develop from this stage on,” he said.
“He has made a pronouncement to the effect that all that is required is for the APC to go through the processes of providing a substitute to our late candidate with the implication being that thereafter the supplementary elections to conclude the process of electing a new governor of Kogi state will began to be put in place so as a party we going to proceed with process organising primary to provide a substitute candidate, Abubakar Audu.
“We are going to go into executive session now, to know the nature of the primary.”