Enyeribe Ejiogu, Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The immediate past minister of state, Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Oil magnate and philanthropist, Chief David Lyon and immediate past Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC), Frankland Briyai, were among five aspirants successfully screened by the All Progressive Congress(APC) for Bayelsa governorship ticket.
The Hon. Ita Song-led National Screening Committee which commenced the screening process Saturday afternoon also screened Prince Preye Aganaba, the only female aspirant and former Commissioner of Police, Mrs Deseye Poweigha and Ebitimi Amgbare
Ealier before the commencement of the exercise, Song assured all the aspirants of a level playing field as well as hitch-free primaries holding on August 29.
Lokpobiri and Briyai, speaking with journalists separately after the screening, said they were satisfied with the outcome.
This is as a chieftain of the party, Chief Richard Kpodoh, warned against any attempt to foist incompetent candidate on the people.
.He said attempt to impose an unpopular candidate on the party would be resisted.
In a terse statement yesterday, Kpodoh kicked against emerging signals by some leaders of the party to smuggle a candidate into the race.
His words: “I have said on many occasions that it will be counter-productive to gamble with the issue of APC candidate for the November 16 election. How can our party leaders contemplate bringing somebody with NCE to lead us as governor when we have better qualified people?
“From the blues, somebody bought the party’s form the same day Chief Timipre Sylva was inaugurated as minister and returned his form same day to beat the deadline for submission of form.
“This is somebody we do not know. We do not know his pedigree. We cannot attest to his political sagacity and experience in political leadership and mentorship. How can we attempt to take this kind of risk at this time?”
Kpodoh said there were aspirants from the party who had shown leadership credentials and capacity that should be supported to pick the party’s ticket instead of the party’s ticket being given to a political neophyte, as it is being planned.
“Everything about this latest aspirant is suspicious.”