…Rakes in over N33b from sale of forms
BY BENEDICT NWACHUKWU, ABUJA
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has scheduled the screening of its 28 presidential aspirants for May 23.
National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Mohammed Argungu, disclosed this while inaugurating the various Committees for the ongoing screening exercise of the governorship and national assembly aspirants in Abuja on Saturday.
The Party raked in over N33 billion from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms which rounded off last week.
The screening Committees set up on Saturday were specifically given the mandate to screen the governorship, Senate and House of Representatives aspirants.
Addressing the screening committee members, the Deputy National Chairman, North, Sen Abubakar Kyari, who stood in for the National Chairman, Sen Abdullahi Adamu, said “I’m sure most of you have been through this before. And I’m sure when you look around you look to your left you look to your right, you will see amongst and around you somebody who is full of integrity and somebody who is here as a result of merit.
“We have a very strong party, we have a big party. And we’re committed that we deliver the right candidates for the forthcoming elections. We have no doubt that the distinguished ladies and gentlemen 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.
“With this, I don’t want to take much of our time. I’d like to welcome you to this auspicious event.
“And I know there’s a long long hurdle ahead of all of us, like I said, this is not the first time we’re exposed to this either as a panelist or as an aspirant go through the process of screening and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. I would like to at this point plead with you to be patient screen thoroughly so that we can have the best of the best.
“We have been very fortunate as a party that we have produced, the best there is. Today we have 22 states and almost at the last count before myself and the national chairman and one of our colleagues resigned from the Senate who had 70 senators out of 109, which is just three shy of the two thirds majority needed in the Senate.
“And also almost two thirds of the House of Representatives. And even after we had left we had one senator decamped from Sokoto, and we’re expecting another one from Oyo I think to officially cross the aisle to the APC I have no doubt all of us here on the National Working Committee, and on behalf of the national chairman, I would like to welcome you here. I wish you best in the deliberations that are ahead of us. I will be around to also support you, but you have freehand to do what is required of you.”
Speaking earlier, the National Organising Secretary, Argungu, reminded the committee members that their selection was based on the confidence the National Working Committee (NWC) and the Party have in them.
“I’m glad just to extend the call to you distinguished members, distinguished leaders of our great party for having been selected by the national chairman and the National Working Committee to do the first segment of our transition to 2023 election.
“That is to screen our gubernatorial aspirants, the senatorial aspirant and indeed the members of the of House of Representatives respectively.
“We have a so far 145 aspirants for governorship and we have constituted three panels to screen the governorship aspirants.
“And also have 351 aspirants that have also collected and returned the senatorial aspiration forms.
“While we have 1,197 aspirants for the House of Representatives with 10 panels.
“The panels for the Senate is going to be four, in addition to that, we have the guideline of our great party that will be given to each of the panels for screening and indeed the Appeal Committee.
“We also have a set of guideline an aspirant assessment and verification form that will be given to each of the committee for the screening and also each of the panel will be given collections of the forms names, expression of interest forms and the guidelines of our party, each of these for guidance.
“We expect that this work will be done between today and tomorrow, like the previous speakers have said these are gentlemen who are also conversant with this type of job, we believe this is not going to be a big assignment to all of you and we pray you will do justice to all the aspirants so that by 2023 we will have very good and credible candidates that are going to contest on the platform of our great party.
“As we all know, with the love people have for the APC we also appreciate to have credible leaders that will add value to the party in 2023 election.
“The three panel for the gubernatorial candidate will be here in Fraiser Suites and the four panel for the senatorial candidate will also be here while that of the House of Representatives will be communicated soon.
“The screening for the presidential candidates, so far we have 28 aspirants and as you are aware some aspirants have started withdrawing their aspiration and as such on the 23rd of May this month they will be screened.”