Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has upturned the decision of its screening committee and cleared five more aspirants for the Kogi State governorship election, rejecting two of the late Prince Abubakar Audu’s sons.
The screening committee had earlier disqualified 12 aspirants for reasons ranging from not being financial members to discrepancies in their ages and academic qualifications.
However, in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the ruling party cleared additional five to bring aspirants for the August 29 party primaries to nine.
The satement said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has deliberated on the reports of the screening and appeal committees for the party’s Kogi governorship aspirants.
“After a comprehensive review of the submissions by the two committees, relying on the party’s guidelines and the provisions of the Electoral Act, nine aspirants were finally cleared to contest the August 29, 2019 Indirect Governorship primary…
“Seven other aspirants that did not meet the requirements for participation in the exercise are Mohammed Seidu Onaili, Usman Oyibe Jibrin, Rukkaya Ibrahim, Patrick Adenu Akpa, Babatunde Ayo Kunle Irukera and the two Audu’s sons Muhammed Abubakar Unukwu Audu and Mustapha Mona Audu.”
Meanwhile, protesters yesterday grounded activities at the national headquarters of the APC.
They brandished placards bearing various inscriptions like ‘We say no to impunity in Kogi’, ‘Hope and Oshiomhole! Stop sale of Kogi governorship ticket to Bello, he can’t win election’, ‘Do not kill APC in Kogi state’, ‘APC should be fair and transparent’, ‘APC, learn from Zamfara mistakes’, among others.
Adressing newsmen, a group under the aegis of the Kogi Mandate Group (KMG) accused the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of deliberately shutting out Irukera to pave way for Governor Bello to emerge unopposed at the primary billed to hold today in Lokoja.
They claimed that although the screening committee led by Hope Uzodimma disqualified him, the Appeal Committee cleared him to contest the primary, wondering while the NWC should uphold his disqualification by the screening committee after the Appeal Committee’s clean bill of health.