The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Screening Committee evaluated 11 of the party’s 23 presidential candidates Wednesday, ahead of the primary poll set for June 6 and 8 in Abuja’s Eagles Square. The exercise began soon after the committee was established.
The seven-man screening committee was inaugurated at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, presided by former APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, with journalists excluded from covering the event and the screening.
Former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu, former governor of Ogun State Ibikunle Amosun, former Minister of Transportation Chibuike Amaechi, Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru, and former Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba were among those who were screened yesterday.
Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi, Felix Nicholas, Senator Ajayi Borroffice, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, Mrs. Uju Ken-Ohaneye, and former Zamfara State Governor Sani Yerima were among those that were screened.
The screening, which was supposed to be completed on Monday, began yesterday and was set to conclude today, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and others on standby for today’s activity.
Tinubu came at 5:50 p.m., joined by Hon. James Faleke and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, among others. Sanwo-Olu left just as the committee was ready to screen Tinubu, therefore he was screened at 8:20 p.m. Tinubu departed Transcorp at 8:56 p.m., but he refused to speak to the media who had surrounded him.
Pastor Tunde Bakare, however, told journalists that if he was requested to step down in order for the party to reach a consensus, he would not dispute the party’s authority because the party was supreme.
“Party supremacy is of the utmost essence,” Bakare said. You can’t force your way through a political party’s hierarchy. The final decision is made by the party. We’ll know how to cross that bridge when we get there.” The purpose of the screening is to determine who is guilty and who is not. It also relies on who is conducting the test. We have cooperated with all requested by God’s favour. We have supplied every information.
“And every information given is accurate and there is no miscommunication anywhere. Therefore, we will listen to what they have to say to us. And we trust God for accurate answers and deserving answers to all questions.”
Ken-Ohaneye, the only female candidate, indicated she would resign if the party requested her to do so, as long as the party agreed to continue with her economic programmes.
Ken-Ohaneye said, “I want you to know that we are a family politically, and if I am asked by the party to step down, I will not challenge the party, because, like they say, charity begins at home.
“I will never see it as a problem to my party, because I am going to respect them. I am going to do whatever it takes to promote my party and make them relax so that they can make a better decision.
“So, if their decision is to ask me to step down, I will not have choice than to step down. As long as they can carry over my blueprints on board, definitely, I will respect my party.”
She stated that the screening committee’s attitude was a great motivator for her because she felt more at ease while answering questions and the conversation was very open and right to the point.
Other presidential aspirants to be screened today are Governor of Cross Rivers State, Professor Ben Ayade; President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmed Lawan; Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello; Mr. Tein Jack-Rich; former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; former Minister of Information, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu; former Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole; former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha (if allowed to attend from his detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC).