From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has inaugurated screening and appeal committees for both state House of Assembly and special congresses to elect local government, states, and national delegates.
The party also admitted that it would likely encounter challenges going into elections in the post President Muhammadu Buhari era.
National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, stated this during the swearing in of the chairmen and secretaries. He tasked the committees to disqualify any aspirant who failed to meet up with the necessary requirements to contest the ticket of the party.
Represented by the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Abubakar Kyari, the party expressed confidence that the committees would arrest all development arising from the conduct of the exercise with the calibre of its members.
He said the committees would spearhead the election of over 2, 322 elective delegates for presidential primary and over 44, 045 ward delegates to participate in the governorship primaries.
“The committees for states to screen the state House of Assembly aspirants and appeal to resolve the crises that will arise from the screening and conduct congress to elect local government, state and national delegates. The exercise is the foundation of all the primaries. We have just conducted the screening of the gubernatorial, senatorial and House of Representatives aspirants, but the basic foundation is what you people are going to do, which is the election of local government and state delegates. You will be briefed on your roles and the modalities. Also, the legal adviser will explain the legal implications of what you are about to do.”
Adamu said APC was in government by championing the call for economic and social change.
“We thank almighty Allah for giving the wisdom to President Muhammadu Buhari and we can beat our chest that seven years after. we have achieved what others have not been able to do. Therefore, this transition is very key to leave a lasting legacy for President Buhari. We are at the verge of electing new leaders for the post Buhari era and that is why you are chosen to spearhead it and I have no doubt in my mind that with the caliber of people I am seeing here we would do just that. Politics is dynamic and ambition is dynamic. You will face challenges but that is why you are there to succumb those challenges,” he said.
While explaining the requirements the screening committees would look out for, the National Organising Secretary, Suleiman Muhammad Argungu, directed the committee to disqualify any aspirant who goes against Section 84(3) of the new Electoral Act
“This is one of the critical segment of our transition in the 2023 general election. We will provide each chairman and secretary of each committee the guidelines that specifies roles of the committee, which includes minimum requirements; APC requirements; educational requirements; payment of form fees, which qualifies each aspirant to contest; sponsors and if anybody goes against Section 84(3) of the electoral acts as amended stands disqualified,” the party warned.
Explaining further the responsibilities assigned to them, Director-General Voice of Nigeria (VON) and chairman Kebbi State appeals and screening committee, Osita Okechukwu, described the assignment as building a foundation for the new leadership of the country.
On whether the screening committees will have enough time to do their job, Okechukwu said: “I think they will have enough time. Don’t forget that we are not working alone, we have our state executives that we are going to work with, local government and ward executives across the length and breadth of the country. So, we are not working alone.”