The All Progressives Congress screening committee has hinted on a consensus candidate just after the first day of the exercise which was carried out yesterday May 30.
Some of the party’s presidential aspirants who were screened by the Committee headed by a former National Chairman of the party, the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, were grilled on 10 key issues including their dual citizenship status.
Some of them told Punch that the panel asked them if they would be ready to step down for the consensus candidate of the party.
Although there have been reports that the party may adopt consensus, the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi, who emerged through the method in March, in an interview with Voice of America Hausa Service on May 26, said it would not be feasible for electing the party’s presidential candidate.
However in spite of the party chairman’s comment, the issues of consensus and foreign citizenship came up when presidential aspirants including the party’s National leader, Bola Tinubu; Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, his Jigawa State counterpart, Badaru Abubakar; the immediate past Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Ondo-North lawmaker, Senator Ajayi Boroffice; Pastor Tunde Bakare and Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, were screened in Abuja on Monday.
Some of the questions include;
“Do you have dual citizenship? Are you the subject of investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission? Have you been arraigned by the Code of Conduct Bureau? And have you ever been convicted for a crime?”
Other questions are;
“Have you ever been declared bankrupt? Will you be willing to step down for a consensus candidate? What is your manifesto? Will you abide by the party’s objectives and manifesto? What is your APC membership status?”
The aspirants were also asked to present original copies of their credentials including school certificates. An aspirant, who wished to remain anonymous, said;
“They asked us pretty much the same questions. They asked about our record with anti-graft agencies, citizenship status, finances and our manifestoes. Of course, there were a few follow up questions depending on the responses given.
“They asked if I had any EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) or ICPC (Independent Corrupt Pactactics and other related offences Commission) case. They asked about my manifesto and also asked me if I would be willing to step down in the event of a consensus. I told them I am a party man and will abide by the wishes of the APC.”