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Ahead of March 26 convention: APC to clear all aspirants to contest party positions

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have decided to screen and clear all the national chairmanship aspirants to face voters at its National Convention on March 26.

This is coming in the heel of revelation that the ruling party will rake in about N1 billion from the sale of nomination forms to the aspirants.

Sources closed to the National Convention Screening Committee led by Governor Aminu Masari, which began its work on Tuesday evening, said the committee has been advised to “accomodate aspirants for the entire party positions.”

“We don’t want anything that would give any of the aspirants excuse to approach the court to stall the convention. We have had enough of troubles. We don’t want to go to court or have any other trouble by screening out any of the aspirants,” a party source said.

The source said similar privilege has been extended to all other aspirants vying for other party offices at both the national and zonal levels of the party.

Aspirants for the national chairmanship office that had been micro zoned to the North Central include: ex-Governors of Nasarawa State Abdullahi Adamu and Tanko Al-Makura, Sani Musa, Ex-Governor of Benue state, George Akume, Saliu Mustapha and Mohammed Etsu.

Former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, who is from Northwest would also have his fate to be decided by the delegates, as he may also scale through the screening exercise that will be completed on Wednesday.

But Yari has advised President Muhammdu Buhari not to single-handedly pick national chairman of the party at Saturday’s convention of the party in Abuja.

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He said the advice became imperative because of the mistake he made in chosing former chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and its effect on the party.

Yari, who was at the Senate to meet APC caucus asked the lawmakers to dismiss insinuations that the President has ‘anointed’ Senator Adamu as the next national chairman of the ruling party.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with the senators, Yari said: “The President made mistake in the past by anointing Adams Oshiomhole single handedly, nobody voted for him, he was anointed as the national chairman and you can see the result today, do you want to remain like that?”

He said the President has since debunked the insinuation of backing Adamu for the party office.

“You have also been reading in the newspapers that President Muhammadu Buhari did not anoint anybody, the Special Adviser on Media, Garba Shehu has since clarified that.

“We are trying to break those jinx, we must come through the ballot box so that we can respect the votes of the people not by picking an individual.

“Let me remind them, those that think they can just be pushed forth to come and do it, that it will not be business as usual,” Yari said.

On the zoning arrangement whereby the party zoned the national chairmanship position to North Central he said, “I am not aware of that, because what we were briefed is that the positions of the North should go to the South and that of the South to the North.

“That is what the caucus sat down to agree and I am one of them, I want you to discard information from the social media. In any case one thing we should be determined to do is to bring about true democracy.

He said he has already purchased his form and he knows that it is the National Assembly that makes laws for everyone. “Whether reconciliation or any other process I have already picked form. We are ready to meet at the ballot box.”

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