The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday in Abuja inaugurated a seven-member screening committee and a three-member appeals committee for the Ondo gubernatorial election primaries.
The seven-member Screening Committee is headed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
The members are: Mr. Joe Igbokwe, Rep. Fatsuma Talba, Chief Felix Nwachukwu, Mr Aminu Jacob Momoh, Alhaji Mustapha Abubakar and Alhaji Umar Duhu, the committee’s Secretary.
The three-member Screening Appeal Committee is chaired by former Speaker of House of Representatives, Agunwa Anaekwe, while the members are Rep. Sadiq Abdullahi and Dr Bashiru Ajibola, Secretary.
The party’s Organising Secretary, Mr ex-Sen. Osita Izunaso, charged the screening committee to carry out due diligence of all documents submitted to the party by aspirants.
He said all candidates must meet eligibility requirements provided by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), the party’s Constitution and its 2014 guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office.
”The assignment of this committee is a very serious one. You are expected to look at the qualifications of the aspirants that have bought forms to contest for the Ondo state governorship on the platform of our party.
”Their qualification must be looked at in line with the 1999 Constitution and in line with our party’s guidelines as well.
“You must also make sure aspirants paid the N5million for the Nomination Form and N500,000 for the Expression of Interest Form.
”There must be evidence of this payment. You must also look at the aspirants’ contribution to the party at ward, state and even at the national level. You must also look at their knowledge of the party’s manifesto.”
The APC National Organising Secretary stated that the screening was mandatory for all aspirants who are not to be screened by proxy.
”It is the screening committee’s responsibility to verify all documents submitted by aspirants. As much as possible, you have to see originals of documents submitted to the committee.
”The reason is that if we present a candidate that is not qualified, even when we win the election, we might still lose it. INEC is not going to screen candidates for us.
”That is why this assignment is very important”, he stressed.
Ajimobi, in his response, expressed confidence that the APC will win the Ondo state governorship election and assured that all aspirants will be treated fairly and justly during the screening.
”It is indeed our pleasure, honour and privilege to be given this opportunity to serve our party particularly on this onerous task of screening some of our members who are interested in becoming the governor of Ondo state.
”We are expected to be fair, just and ensure that those that we choose would definitely become the next governor of Ondo state. I believe once we are fair, once we look for quality, there is no doubt that we will win in Ondo state.
”As some of us are known as jinx breakers, anything we touch wins, this will not be an exception. Whoever we choose, I can guarantee, we will win”, Ajimobi said.
The Chairman of the Screening Appeal Committee also promised fairness, saying ”the assignment we have is one that can make or mar the party as far as the Ondo state governorship election is concerned.
”I assure the party’s leadership that we are going to do our very best to ensure that whoever is qualified to contest the election is allowed to contest the election so that at the end, the people of Ondo state will have that right to choose who their flag-bearer will be.”