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APC Screening: Only One Aspirant Had Reservations About Consensus Candidacy –Oyegun

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The ruling All Progressives Congress might just be headed for a consensus presidential candidate for the 2023 Presidential Election, going by the report of its screening committee.

The chairman of the committee, John Odigie Oyegun told the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu on Friday that 99% of the presidential aspirants who were screened were unopposed to a consensus arrangement.

While presenting the report to the chairman, Chief Oyegun said only one aspirant expressed reservations about picking a candidate via consensus.

Oyegun Adamu cropped

“We engaged every aspirant on the issue of consensus and it is a pleasant surprise that 98, 99% agreed that the party is supreme and that whatever the party finally decides, with proper consultations, they were likely to accept.

“We had only one exception who said, ‘Yes, I will accept consensus so long as it is me,’” he said.

Amaechi Screening cropped

The committee chairman went ahead to say that the party was not “afraid of a contested primary” if anybody insists on one.

His statement aligns with what watchers believe President Muhammadu Buhari meant when he told APC governors that he was interested in picking his successor.

The big question has been who that successor would likely be, since President Buhari has kept his plans to his chest.

In a January interview with Channels TV, President Buhari had said he was keeping his choice of a successor secret because “he (successor) may be eliminated” if the name is mentioned.

Love for Young Candidate

During the presentation of the report of the APC’s Presidential Screening Committee, Chief Oyegun alluded to the party’s love for “younger elements.”

“We were surprised at the active participation of youthful members of the party, some of whom really surprised us as to what they have accomplished in life, their understanding of the situation in this country, and why they want to have the privilege to govern this country,” he said.

Tinubu screening cropped

He further told the APC chairman that only 13 of 23 presidential aspirants screened qualified to make it to the party’s primary.

The number could have been pruned further but for the party’s endearment to young people.

“We have a shortlist that brought the number (of aspirants) severely down to 13.

“We could have cut it down shorter but we wanted deliberately to let the younger elements to surface, for them to be seen, and who knows, we hand them over to the party and it is for the party to decide who their preferred candidate will be,” Chief Oyegun told Senator Adamu.

APC Screening cropped

The names of the 13 successful aspirants were yet to be made public by 9 pm Friday.

The 13 will face one other for the APC’s presidential ticket at the party’s Special Convention for Presidential Primary scheduled for June 6 – 8 in Abuja.


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