The seven man screening Committee for All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants led by former national chairman, Chief Odigie Oyegun, completed its assignment on Tuesday.

Investigation revealed that ten aspirants appeared before the team while one was absent.

Former Imo State Governor and Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha could not appear before the Oyegun Committee as he was still striving to meet bail conditions given by the court where he was arraigned by the anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) for alleged financial sleaze.

Those who appeared before the screening panel on Tuesday were Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo;  President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi;  former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole;  immediate past  Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and an entrepreneur, Tein Jack Rich.

Others were  Cross Rivers State Governor, Ben Ayade; former Minister of Science and Technology,  Ogbonaya Onu and  Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu and  Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and former Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio gave indication that they would surrender themselves to the controversial consensus option.
President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with APC governors appealed to them to allow him pick his preferred candidate to succeed him.

The former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs  noted that “we all  know the party is supreme.” Akpabio also commended the Oyegun panel for being thorough in carrying out its assignment.

“I think it is quite rigorous and the checklist is very good. At least,  they will be able to know the aspirants in totality and also get their idea of how they are doing to run the affairs of the country and take the country from the present level to the next level. The array of politicians I have seen there are people who are grassroots-based. They asked what the aspirants have for the progress of the country; security, unity of the country which is very fragile and the economy and how to bring much productivity and infrastructure. “

President of the Senate told journalists after his session with the Oyegun Committee that he was confident of emerging the APC standard bearer but said he would accept anyone Buhari pronounced as his anointed candidate.

“We are sons and daughters of the same father and mother, those of us in APC, all of us who took the forms and to run for the highest office of the president believe in the same philosophy and ideology of our party. Therefore, we are one and the same thing. I will support anybody who rules the party and who the president thinks can do better for us. I have no problem with that. I want to also believe that at the end of the day, I will emerge.”

Former Kano State Governor who incidentally is the Director-General of Osinbajo Campaign Organization, Senator Kabiru Gaya maintained that the Vice-President remained the to beat for the APC presidential ticket.

“We are impressed by his qualifications and experience. He has been in the system for so many years as the vice president and he has acted also as a president. So he’s the most experienced aspirant in this race. We believe that he will be a candidate for the APC general elections and he is the only candidate that can beat Atiku Abubakar. That I’m sure of.”



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