15th May, 2022
By Emmanuel Mogbede
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has fixed May 23 for the screening of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and 26 other aspirants who had indicated interest in the presidential ticket of the party in the 2023 general election.
This was disclosed by Alhaji Suleiman Arugugun, National Organising Secretary on Saturday.
He also confirmed that 28 presidential aspirants submitted their nomination and expression of interest forms at the close of the process last Friday.
Arugugun who spoke to journalists shortly after the inauguration of chairmen and secretaries of the party’s screening committees for House of Representatives, Senate and governorship aspirants added that some aspirants have started withdrawing from the race for the APC presidential ticket.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that APC special convention for the presidential primaries would hold from May 30 to June 1.
Aside Osinbajo and Tinubu, the list of presidential aspirants that submitted their nomination forms includes: former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, and former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Former Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo and former Gov. Ibikunle Amosu of Osun, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River and Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi also submitted their forms.
Chairman, Nigeria Governor Forum (NGF) and Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Minister of State, Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, former President of the Senate, Sen. Ken Nnamani and Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi also submitted their forms.
Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa and former Zamfara Governor, Sen. Ahmed Yerima also submitted their forms.
Also on the list of presidential aspirants that returned their forms are the only female aspirant, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohnenye, Pastor Nicholas Nwagbo, former Speaker of House Representative Dimeji Bankole, and President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawal.
African Development Bank (AFDB) Managing Director, Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, former Minister of Information, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu and Mr Tein Jack Rich also submitted their forms among others.
The party had meanwhile began the screening of the House of Representatives and governorship aspirants at designated hotels in Abuja.
“The screening for the presidential aspirants, we have so far 28 presidential aspirants and as you are all aware, some aspirants have started withdrawing their aspirations.
“And by God’s grace on May 23, those that are left for the screening proper, will be screened,” Arugugun said.
NAN reports that the committees’ chairmen and secretaries were inaugurated by Sen. Abubakar Kyari, APC Deputy National Chairnan, North on behalf of the National Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kyari, said that a total of 145 governorship aspirants would be screened by three panels while 351 senate aspirants would be screened by four panels for the party’s 2023 ticket.
He said that a total of 1,197 House of Representatives aspirants would also be screened by 10 panels.
“We have a very strong party, we have a big party, and we are committed to deliver the right candidates for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
“We have no doubt that the distinguished ladies and gentleman assembled here will do just that.
“I wouldn’t want to go into details because we all know ourselves, and we have tried to engage you in a manner that you will also bring your experience to the fore,” he said.
While acknowledging that there was a long huddle ahead of the committees, Kyari appealed to the members to be patient and to ensure proper screening of aspirants to ensure that the best candidates emerged at the end.
He added that the party had been very fortunate because it had produced the best aspirants ahead of 2023 general elections.
“And also almost two thirds of the House of Representatives,” he said.
He welcomed members of the committees, saying that they had freehand to do what was required of them and would always be supported by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) when necessary.
NAN further reports that the APC had fixed its governorship primaries for May 20, House of Assembly, May 22, House of Representatives May 24, and Senate May 25.