The National Organising Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Osita Izunaso, on Wednesday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja inaugurated a seven-member Screening Committee and three-member Screening Appeal Committee for the 2016 Ondo State governorship election primaries.
The seven-member Screening Committee is chaired by Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi. Other members are Joe Igbokwe, Fatsuma Talba, Felix Nwachukwu, Aminu Jacob Momoh, Mustapha Abubakar and Umar Duhu (Secretary).
The three-member Screening Appeal Committee is chaired by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Agunwa Anaekwe. Other members are: Sadiq Abdullahi and Dr. Bashiru Ajibola (Secretary).
The APC national organising secretary charged the seven-member Screening Committee to carry out comprehensive 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 the Party’s 2014 guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office.
He said: “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 have 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 aspirant’s 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 said the screening exercise is mandatory for all aspirants and aspirants 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 being 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,” Mr. Izunaso said.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Chairman of the Screening Committee, Governor Ajimobi expressed confidence that the APC would win the Ondo state governorship election. He also said all aspirants would be treated fairly and justly during the screening exercise.
“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,” the governor said. “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.”
The Chairman of the Screening Appeal Committee, Mr. Anaekwe also spoke at the inauguration.
He said, “The assignment we have is one that can make or mar the Party as far as the Ondo state governorship election is concerned. I also want to assure the party 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.”
According to the time-table and schedule of activities for the conduct of the Ondo State 2016 APC Governorship Primary Election released by the APC National Organising Secretary, sale of forms commenced at the Party’s national secretariat from Tuesday, July 19 to Friday August 5, 2016.
Governorship nomination forms are being sold for N5 million while intending aspirants are expected to pay N500, 000 to pick expression of interest form. The forms are free for female aspirants.
The last day for submission of completed forms is Monday, August, 8 at the APC national secretariat.
The Screening of aspirants will be conducted in Abuja from August 9 to Friday, August 12.
The Primary Election will hold Saturday, August 27. Election Appeal will hold from Monday, August 29 to Thursday September 1, 2016.