Following public outcry and grumblings from different quarters over the disqualification of some aspirants contesting the APC governorship primaries, The National Working Committee of the party is to review the screening of aspirants contesting the governorship primary of the party in Kogi state on a case by case basis, the party has said.
The Nation however gathered that there is pressure on the leadership of the party to review the exercise to avoid unnecessary legal tussle that may cost the party dearly like it happened in Zamfara and Rivers States during the last general election.
Due to the pressure, the party may give a clean bill to some of the aspirants especially those who have contested the party primary in the past with records of service to the party.
Aspirants like Babatunde Irukera, Yakubu Mohammed and Hadiza Ibrahim who contested the party’s governorship primary in 2015; but lost the ticket to late Prince Abubakar Ibrahim, while Mohammed Abubakar Audu has been an active player within the party since 2015.
But one of the aspirants disqualified however confided in some people that she did not sign her affidavit because the court did not ask her to do so.
However, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said there was no need for the controversy surrounding the screening as those disqualified have an option of approaching the Appeals Panel which is also independent of the National Working Committee.
Onilu said “screening of aspirants is a constitutional issue. There are clear procedures for the conduct of screening of aspirants in our party’s constitution and the Electoral Act. Screening itself is not the final stage in the qualification process.
“Aspirants who have objections to outcomes of screening have the opportunity of presenting their case before the Appeal Panel. It should be noted that both the screening and appeal committees are independent of the National Working Committee as far as their activities are concerned.
“By practice, having selected people believed to be credible as members of these committees, the NWC does not interfere in anyway in their activities.
“Aspirants have the comfort that the reports would eventually be presented to the National Working Committee where a final look will be taken on a case by case basis to ensure the outcomes are in strict compliance with our party’s constitution and the Electoral Act.
“There is therefore no basis for any controversy on the current screening process to choose eligible aspirants who will contest at the party’s primaries to choose our candidates for the upcoming governorship elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa states.”