The All Progressives Congress on Tuesday commenced the screening of its five presidential aspirants.
Those to be screened are the Publisher ofThe Leadership newspaper, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah; Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Nda-Isaiah was the first to appear before the Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu-led eight member committee at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
Addressing reporters before the commencement of the exercise, Onu said the committee would not spare any effort in ensuring that only aspirants considered fit and proper would be presented during the forthcoming convention.
He said that each of the aspirants would be required to sign an undertaking to abide by the party’s guidelines and to support the eventual winner of the ticket.
Onu said, “In screening our aspirants, we will take into consideration the constitution of our party, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Electoral Act 2010. We would be doing something that is novel in our country because we want to really effect change.
“We will attach a lot of importance to the manifesto of the party; we will like to know how ready our aspirants are to attend to the urgent needs of the nation in the areas of security, the economy, job creation, foreign policy and corruption.”
He also said successful aspirants would be presented with their certificates of clearance to contest the primaries at the end of the exercise on Wednesday (today).
At the end of his screening, Nda- Isaiah expressed confidence about his chances. He described the exercise as the biggest job interview in the nation.
“If you go for an examination, you know whether you passed or you failed. I passed. We are not like the other party that printed just one form. This shows you how serious our party is,” he said.
Nda- Isaiah promised to tackle corruption and rebuild the confidence of Nigerians in one another. He said it was sad that Nigerians were now more divided than at any other time in the recent history of the nation, adding that no meaningful development could take place in a disunited nation.
Members of the APC screening committee include Ahmed Jidda, Senator Abubakar Saraki, Dr. Sam Jaja, Bisi Abayomi, Prof. Dannis Abolapo, Tom Maiyaki and Ambassador Fatima Balla.