All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 Presidential Screening Committee has said that the committee engaged the 23 presidential aspirants that appeared before it on issues of consensus.
According to the Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun: “Our respected national chairman and other distinguished members of the National Working Committee(NWC), it is our pleasure to be here with you today to present our report to you.
Daily Trust reports that Oyegun said this on Friday in Abuja, while submitting the 7-man committee report to the party`s National Chairman Sen. Abdullahi Adamu.
“We had the privilege of being inaugurated by you on May 30, and we immediately started work same day, after a brief meeting” he continued.
“All the aspirants were engaged on the issue of consensus and it was a pleasant surprise that 98 to 99 per cent of them agreed that the party is supreme, that whatever it finally decides with proper consultations, would likely be accepted.
“Though one aspirant said that; yes I will accept consensus so long as it is settled on me.
“First, we had 23 presidential aspirants that we interacted with and my first comment is that we are indeed a very luck party,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
He furthered that though 23 presidential aspirants posed themselves for screening, there were other prominent Nigerians within and outside the country that applied but could not proceed with their applications.
According to him, the quality of the aspirants were unquestionable, adding that the committee was amazed with the active participation of youthful members of the party.
Oyegun also said that the committee was remarkably stunned by the life accomplishment of the youths in the race, their understanding of the country`s circumstances and why they wanted to have the privilege of governing her.
“What was important was that they so believed in the country and the party that they were able to pay the sums they paid for its Expression of Interest and Nomination forms to participate in the process.
“So, I think the party ought to part itself on the back for that,’’ Odigie-Oyegun who was a former national chairman of the APC and a former Edo governor, said.
He clarified that the committee`s report was in two aspects; the basic constitutional qualification to aspire to be a president of the country, and the ability to lead and background of the aspirant.
According to him, all the aspirants had the constitutional basic requirements and were qualified in that regard, because it was basic and simple.
“But we are a governing party, and we are keying on continuing the process and replacing at the proper time, our president with yet another member of the party,” he said.
For this reason, he said the potential of the aspirants to lead, their background, experience and understanding of the Nigerian situation became crucial.
He said their opinions on how tough problems could be dealt with and how they could move the country forward also became a significant concern at the screening.
“It is on that bases, that who you are, what are you and what have you achieved.
“And the understanding of your mission and what you think you can do to move the country forward made our final list.
“I don’t want to read the names, I think we will leave that to you, but we have a short list which brought the number severely down to 13.
“We could have cut it a little shorter, but we wanted deliberately all the younger elements to surface,” Odigie-Oyegun added.
According to him, the idea was for the younger aspirants to be seen and noticed and handed over to the party’s leadership to decide who their preferred candidate would be for 2023 presidential election.
It was also a chance to showcase the kind of people that existed in the APC and within it, their youthfulness and the kind of knowledge they had, he said.
He added that was for the world to know that the APC cared for the young and when it said the young shall aspire, it really meant it.
“This had been showcased in the report we have written. We only drew a word of caution that there is this cleavage that is gradually becoming centre stage in national discourse, between the North and the South and the presidency.
“And we just want to advise strongly that the party should please think of it in making its decision, address it and let it influence their thoughts because it has its own implications,” he stressed.
Odigie-Oyegun expressed gratitude to the party`s leadership for the opportunity to perform in the committee, saying that though it was a delicate and tough assignment, it was an intriguing one.
“We all profited from the assignment immensely and think the party will also profit,” he said.