APC Panel Pins 10 Aspirants, Recommends ‘Youth’ as ​​Presidential Candidate

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary selection panel submitted its report to the party on Friday with a strong recommendation that the party adopt a young aspirant as its candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

Panel Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun disclosed this when submitting the panel report to the National Chairman of the Party, Abdullahi Adamu at the Party Secretariat in Abuja.

Oyegun also announced that his panel disqualified 10 contenders out of the 23 who appeared before him.

According to him, only 13 aspirants were cleared ahead of the party’s presidential convention on Monday.

The former national chairman of the APC did not reveal the identities of those who were disqualified, but gave an overview of the criteria used to select candidates for the presidential primary.

Oyegun said: “the ability to lead, your background, your experience, your understanding of the Nigerian situation, your ideas of how problems, difficulties, problems and the like can be solved and how the country can progress have become a primary consideration. ”

The former governor of Edo State, who praised the party for having quality people keen to govern the country, however asked the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to prioritize those whom he called “young party members” in his choice of presidential candidate.

He said: “What I want to emphasize is the quality of the people who want to govern this country. The second point I want to emphasize is that we were surprised by the active participation of young party members, some of whom really surprised us in terms of what they have achieved in life, their understanding of the situation in this country and why they want the privilege of governing this country.

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“What was important was that they believed so much in the country and the party that they were able to pay what some of us considered princely sums to participate in the process. I think the party should congratulate itself for that.

Highlighting the choice of one of the party’s young members as the party’s presidential flag bearer, Oyegun said the list of candidates was narrowed down from 23 to 13 based on the panel’s belief of understanding of governance issues. by the successful candidates.

He said: “Our report is basically simple and short and we didn’t want to beat around the bush. There were two aspects to this: Constitutional qualification for you to aspire to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was simple. It was simple and on that basis every seeker who came forward qualified because it was basic, it was simple. But we are a ruling party and we want to continue the process and replace our president with another member of the party when the time comes.

“And so the ability to lead, your background, your experience, your understanding of the Nigerian situation, your ideas of how the problems, the difficulties, the problems and the rest can be solved and how the country can move forward. before have become a primary consideration.

“Based on that, who are you? What have you achieved? What is the understanding of your nation and what do you think you can contribute to moving the nation forward? It is on this basis that we made our final selection. I don’t want to read the names, I think we’ll leave that to you. But we have a shortlist. We have significantly reduced the number to 13.

“We could have shortened it a bit but we deliberately wanted the younger ones to surface so that they would be seen, that they would be noticed, who knows. We hand them over to the party and it is up to the party to decide the candidate. prefer.

“It’s also an opportunity to show the kind of people that exist within the party. Their youth, their kind of experience, let the world know that we care about young people and this is a party that when we say young people can aspire to, we really mean it. This was highlighted in the report that we wrote.

In apparent reference to the agitation for the transfer of power to the southern part of the country, the governor of Edo State, who served two terms, told the national leadership of the APC to take into account the request for rotation of power.

“We only drew a word of warning; that there is this divide which is gradually becoming the center of the national discourse between the North and the South with regard to the presidency and we have strongly advised the party to think about it when making its decision, to address it and to let his thinking be influenced because that has its own implication.

APC President Adamu in his response said that the recommendation to choose among young members would be considered at the highest level of the party. Senator Adamu said it was heartening to note that “there are among them people who have braved the spirit of competition and come forward to be considered for this important office in the country.

“They did this with respect for the spirit of those not too young to race. We feel encouraged by the party that young people and young women have come forward to compete for this position. As with every competition, we now receive the report from each of them. “We are going to look at it at the highest level of the party and see how we approach the next convention, who has the ultimate authority and the choice of who takes our party flag.

“The flag does not belong to me, it does not belong to any of us, it is the flag of the party, the legal entity called APC and I hope this spirit will be obeyed.”

Responding to the request to review the transfer of power to the South, Adamu said he hoped those making the decisions would not overlook the panel’s observation.

“The president, in his presentation, alluded to the north/south division. We hope that based on the facts available, those who would be appropriate to initiate the decision will be given due consideration,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after submitting his panel’s report, Chief Oyegun hinted that only one of the contenders had expressed strong reservations about the consensus option in choosing the party.

“Against all the contenders, the issue of consensus and it was a pleasant surprise that 98-99% agreed that the party is supreme. And that whatever the party ultimately decides with proper consultation, it will likely agree to. We only had one exception who said yes, he would accept consensus as long as it was based on him.

“So I think that’s a point that needs to be made and emphasized. So that gives you a lot of leeway in the days and hours to come to reduce even more drastically. But ultimately we think you shouldn’t be afraid of a contested primary if someone insists on the contest,” Oyegun added.

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