The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has cleared Governor Yahaya Bello to vie for a second term in the governorship poll.
Three other aspirants, comprising a serving member of the House of Representatives, Yahaya Abdullahi; Abubakar Bashir and Mrs. Ekele Aishat Blessing, got the nod of the Senator Hope Uzodinma-led six-member screening panel of the party to jostle for the ticket of the party in the primaries billed to hold on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Mohammed Abubakar Mustapha Mona – two of the children of the late former Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu -were adjudged to have failed to meet the requirements of the party.
The duo, among others, were found wanting of presenting invalid nomination process, not being financial members of the party as they failed to present evidence of financial contributions to the party.
Their uncle, Mr. Yahaya Odidi Audu, was also declared unfit to fly the party’s flag having been found wanting of invalid declaration of age and not being a financial member of the party.
Among the 12 aspirants disqualified was former Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd).
Jibrin was disqualified over noticeable discrepancies in his date of birth, not being a financial member of the party and also found to have an invalid membership card.
Others include Editor of the defunct Newswatch magazine, Yakubu Mohammed; former Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Sani Lulu and Gen. Patrick Ademu Akpa (rtd).
A statement by the party’s screening committee, headed by Senator Hope Uzodinma, said 14 of the aspirants were screened out from contesting the primary of the party for offences ranging from double declaration of age, non-commitment to the party and non-attachment of relevant documents to their nomination forms.
He said the committee was very meticulous in going through the documents to avoid unnecessary mistake that may be latched on by the opposition.
Meanwhile, a coalition of 12 disqualified aspirants on the platform of the APC has faulted the decision of the party to disqualify them from contesting for the exalted seat.
Babatunde Irukera, who spoke with journalists on behalf of the aggrieved aspirants, said that they were unjustly disqualified.
The aggrieved aspirants, therefore, urged the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to reverse the decision of the screening committee led by Uzodinma and allow the entire 16 aspirants who picked the N22.5 million worth nomination and expression of interest forms to vie for the ticket of the party during the primaries.