Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has inaugurated committees to screen all aspirants contesting the presidential, governorship, Senate, and House of Representatives elections on its platform.
The party inaugurated the committees on Saturday in Abuja.
The party had closed the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms on Thursday, while the deadline for the submission of the forms was midnight on Friday.
The Deputy National Chairman, Abubakar Kyari, who inaugurated the Committee on behalf of the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, said 28 persons bought the presidential nomination forms.
He noted that some had withdrawn from the race. He, however, did not mention names.
“The screening for the presidential candidates – we have so far 28 aspirants and as you are aware, some aspirants have started withdrawing their aspiration and as such on the 23rd of May this month they will be screened,” Mr Kyari said.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Friday, dropped out of the presidential race.
Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, a businessman, also withdrew from the race on Friday.
The presidential aspirants include former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina; former Minister of Science and Technology,. Ogbonnaya Onu; and Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
Others are the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha; and former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun.
The rest are a pastor, Tunde Bakare; Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade; Ebonyi State governor Dave Umahi; Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi; former Minister of State, Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar and former Zamfara State governor, Ahmed Yerima.
Also, Ajayi Borroffice, a serving senator, Uju Kennedy Ohnenye; Nicholas Felix Nwagbo; former House of Representative Speaker Dimeji Bankole; former Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; former Minister of Information, Ikeobasi Mokelu; and Tein Jack Rich are also in the race.
Some groups also bought forms for former President Goodluck Jonathan and the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Giving a breakdown of the nomination forms sold by the party, Mr Kyari stated that 145 persons bought the governorship forms and 351 persons bought senatorial forms.
He stated that 1,197 aspirants bought the forms for the House of Representatives.
According to him, three panels will screen gubernatorial aspirants at the Fraiser Suites in the capital, while four panels will screen senatorial aspirants at the same venue.
Ten panels are to screen the House of Representatives aspirants. The screening of governorship and senatorial aspirants will begin on May 14 and will hold for two days.
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