Thursday, 4 December 2014

APC Screening Committee clears Buhari, Atiku, others. National Convention to hold in Lagos

CHAIRMAN of All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention committee, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday, said the party has moved its national convention, earlier scheduled to hold in Abuja, to Lagos.

Fayemi, the immediate past  governor of Ekiti State, also disclosed that the 2014 national convention, which will hold on December 10 and 11, would have in attendance about 8,000 statutory and elected delegates.

This came as the screening committee of the party, led by Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, cleared the five presidential aspirants on the platform of the party for the convention.

Those cleared were former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari; former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Kano State governor, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

Others were the Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha and the publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah.

The aspirants were also made to sign undertaking that they would not dump the party if they lost out in the primaries on December 10.

The undertaking reportedly signed by the five aspirants read in part: “I on behalf of myself and my campaign organisation undertake to accept the outcome of the primaries and actively support whoever emerges as the winner and shall not decamp to any other political party or in anyway obstruct the smooth prosecution of the presidential campaigns.

“I further affirm that during the campaign and later in government, I shall be guided strictly by the party manifesto.

“In the event of my nomination, my campaign team will immediately be collapsed into the party’s campaign structure for a properly united and focused presidential campaign.”

The national convention, Dr Fayemi said, would be held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos and would be aired live by major television and radio stations in the country.

Dr Fayemi, while briefing newsmen in Abuja on the workings of his committee, also affirmed that the relocation of the venue was carried out with the consent of the five presidential aspirants on the platform of the party.

According to him, “as you’re already aware, our convention takes place on December 10 and 11, and the venue is Lagos State, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

“We have, this morning, briefed all the presidential aspirants on the steps that we have taken to ensure that we have hitch-free, secure, transparent and credible presidential primaries.

“We are not going into coronation. We are going into an election and that election will be done in the full glare of all Nigerians.

“Those who are not opportune to be there as delegates but are interested in rescuing democracy in this country will have the opportunity to watch it live on the television stations or to listen live on radio stations, to follow us online and to even be part of this internationally for those who are not in Nigeria.

“All our aspirants have also been briefed on the various steps we’ve taken. Our committee is having our last meeting in Abuja today and we are relocating to the venue of the convention from this moment.

“We are expecting over 8,000 delegates, both elected and statutory.

“We have not taken any decision without the input of all the presidential aspirants. I can assure you of that. We did not arrive at Lagos State accidentally. We did not arrive at Lagos serendipitously.

“We arrived at Lagos with the full input of all our presidential aspirants. Yes, concerns were raised about the distance, for example someone coming from Yobe State as a delegate or from Maiduguri as a delegate,” he stated.

Dr Onu, who spoke before presenting clearance certificate to the aspirants, stated that “we told the press earlier that our aspirants will sign a letter of commitment to the party. I am happy to announce to you that all of them, all the five aspirants, were very happy to sign these letters of commitment.

“That commitment is principally to assure the party that there is none of them running for themselves. They are running to offer service to improve on the well-being of our people, to bring happiness to Nigerians, foster unity and bring peace and secure our country.

“Only one person will fly our flag. They have all agreed that whoever flies our flag, the other aspirants will support him. This is something integral to the party.

“They will collapse their structures into the party, so that the party will move into the election united and it will offer the party the best chance to win the election on February 14, 2015” he stated.

The panel chairman also made some revelations about the performance of the aspirants, saying “I want to reveal to you that the margin was very narrow and the score high.

“The least scored 62 per cent and the highest scored 78 per cent. The second scored 77 per cent and the third scored 75 per cent”

To this end, he said “Nigerians have a choice to make, because when you have two things, you never know which is better until you try them. Nigerians ought to try the APC and give us a chance to show, so that the problems in the country can be solved.”

He said the panel took the aspirants through a rigorous exercise, adding that this was important for Nigerians to know the sort of people, one of whom will be the standard-bearer of APC for president.

“We also tested their understanding of the problems of this nation. Whoever flies our flag will have full understanding of the problems,” he said.

General Buhari, who responded on behalf of the other aspirants, said “I feel honoured to speak on behalf of the aspirants. We are very grateful to our great party for organising such a competent team to come and interview us.”

According to him, “we went through the mill yesterday, each one of us not less than an hour on foreign affairs, security, economy, on the effect of what our personal decisions are to the polity.

“It is a very trying time. We are very grateful that they have been very generous in their award of marks.

“We have all made it and the rest of the decision now is going largely to the delegates. Somewhere in this country, we will get together again and then whosoever gets the certificate on behalf of the party will emerge.”

No comments:

Post a Comment