Ten out of the 23 presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were disqualified from participating in the forthcoming party’s primaries.
The party’s screening committee, two days ago, scrutinised all the presidential aspirants for a primary election scheduled to hold from June 6 to 8, 2022.
John Odigie-Oyegun, the Chairman of the screening committee, made this known on Friday while submitting the committee’s report to the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, in Abuja.
However, Odigie-Oyegun declined to disclose the names of the candidates screened out.
Some of the aspirants screened were Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, Emeka Nwajiuba, the former Minister of State for Education, Felix Nicholas, a United States-based pastor, former Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, former Senate President Ken Nnamani and Senator Ajayi Borroffice.
Others are; the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, Rotimi Amaechi, the former Minister of Transportation, Tunde Bakare, a renowned cleric and Sani Yeriman Bakura, the former governor of Zamfara State.
Before leaving for Spain, President Muhammadu Buhari had pleaded with the governors under the aegis of the party’s Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) to join hands with him to throw up an acceptable candidate that would inspire hope and lead the party to victory in 2023 elections.
Subsequently, the governors have met twice after Buhari’s pleas. But they could not agree on who to recommend to the president for consideration and whether the party should consider nominating a candidate from the north.
APC has 14 governors in the north and eight in the south. While there is a consensus among the southern governors that their region should produce Buhari’s successor, five of their colleagues in the north thought only a northern candidate can defeat Atiku.
However, nine northern governors had argued that it is not in the interest of national cohesion and social justice for the presidency to remain in the north in 2023. The nine governors rooting for a power shift are Babagana Zulum of Borno, Simeon Lalong of Plateau, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.
Others are Aminu Masari of Katsina, Abubakar Bello of Niger, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.
Governors from the South who are contesting the presidency are Prof Ben Ayade of Cross River State, his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi and Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi.
From the north, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and Jigawa State governor, Mohammed Badaru, are also in the race.