APC Set to screen over 300 state assembly aspirants
Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja
The ruling All Progressive Congress APC, on Tuesday, swore- in chairpersons and secretaries of screening committees to screen over 300 aspirants for state house of assembly.
The committee was also in charged to conduct special congress to elect local government, state and national delegates.
The inauguration and swearing-in took place at the took place at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja had in attendance many party chieftains and stalwarts from across the country.
The deputy national chairman, North, Abubakar Kyari who represented the national chairman at the event tasked the committee members to live up to the huge responsibility despite the challenges they might confront at the state and local governments.
He said: “First and foremost I will like to express the chairman’s apology for taking so long for having this occasion and also for not being around for this occasion. Initially we are supposed to have two processes but we have decided to combine both exercises so that you all can conduct the exercises one after the other or simultaneously if the situation permits.
“This 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. Later the national organizing secretary will brief you on your roles and what the modalities are and also the legal adviser will explain the legal implications of what you are about to do” he said.
Kyari urged them to help bequeath a befitting legacy of victory for president Muhammadu Buhari. He said: “We are in government today simply by championing the call for economic and social change and we thank almighty Allah for giving the wisdom to the president his exellency 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 his exellency Muhammadu 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’m 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.”
The national organizing secretary, Suleiman Muhammad Argungu addressing the committee members said: “We will provide each chairman and secretary of each committee the guidelines that specify 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. All these and more are in the guidelines that would be given to each group. And also, we would provide each group with aspirant assessment verification form that you will ensure you follow diligently to ensure you do justice to each of the aspirant who has purchased forms and submitted”
“Thereafter when you have concluded your assignment, provide to us the names of those you have duly screened. So, that we can write their names on this certificate and forward them to you the chairman and secretary so that you can give the screened aspirants. This will serve as the certificate that will qualify to go for the primary election.”
The oath of allegiance was conducted by the national legal adviser, Bar Ahmed Almazuk on the chairpersons and secretaries of screening committees.
Earlier the national publicity secretary, Mr Felix Morka apologized to the members of the committee who have endured series of postponement date for the inconveniences.
Alhaji Binikudu who gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the other members of the committee, pledged to conduct a rancour free screening and election with the fear of God following the party’s constitution and guidelines.
The chairman of Kebbi state, appeals, screening committee, Osita Okechukwu while reacting to journalists said: “Our new assignment is building a foundation for the new leadership of the country that will emanate from the candidates of the various political parties. In our own instance the all Progressives Congress. What we are going to do in our various states day is to screen those we think are qualify to run for the house of assembly. In our own case, you know in the Nigerian political stock market, we are in brand A1, so we have over 3000 aspirants contesting across the country. And for us to do a good job we want to make it easier for the electorates by presenting those who are better, more qualified, that meets all the conditions. One of which is being a Nigerian, having gone to secondary school and being of good behavior. This is our job. We are presenting a candidate that electorates across the country will vote for in 2023. We are working with the guidelines of INEC, the guidelines of our party, the APC and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”
He dismissed the fear that the committee may not do a thorough job due to the time constraint saying; “Don’t forget that we are not working alone, we have our state executive 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.”