The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, Malam Athairu Madami has declared that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not make mistake in listing Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed as PDP candidate for Kwara South Senatorial district election.
Madami told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in his office on Tuesday that Ahmed’s name could not be substituted for another person because he did not apply within the stipulated time.
NAN reports that the Governor said on Monday that the Electoral body made a mistake in leaving his name as the Senatorial candidate because he duly applied for the substitution of his name with that of Sen Rafiu Ibrahim.
According to the REC, deadline for substitution and replacement of names expired on Nov 17, 2018, adding that Ahmed sent his application on Dec 3, 2018.
He said INEC wrote to the Governor on Dec 31, 2018 rejecting his application on the ground that it was written after the deadline.
“Ahmed remains the candidate of the PDP for Kwara South Senatorial election, his name is duly registered in the form as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” the INEC said.
NAN reports that a letter dated Dec 19, 2018 with reference N0: INEC/LEG/PP/19/243 signed by Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony, INEC Secretary to the national headquarters of the PDP conveyed the rejection of the substitution of Ahmed’s name.
Part of the letter reads: “Please note that withdrawal/substitution of candidate closed on 17th November 2018 in accordance with the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 General elections.
“Consequent upon the above, the Commission regrets to inform you that the withdrawal and substitution by your party is clearly outside the timeline and therefore cannot accede to your request,”
According to the REC, the expiration of the timeline for substitution fell on the day of the bye-election in Oke-Ero, Irepodun, Ekiti and Isin Federal Constituency.
He said it was aftermath of the defeat of the PDP at the bye-election that necessitated the substitution of Ahmed’s name with that of the incumbent senator, which he said was already late.