The embattled national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are among the list of those cleared for the party’s presidential primary.
Recall that former APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, who led the l Presidential Screening Committee of the party, had told newsmen on Friday that only 13 aspirants were cleared for the primary scheduled for June 6th.
Sources have now revealed that all presidential aspirants were cleared and qualified but the committee recommended a ‘safe list’ of 13 names.
It was also gathered that Tinubu was the only presidential aspirant to reject the option of consensus candidate, stressing that he would only back such option if he emerges as the consensus candidate.
Also confirming the list, Imran Muhammad, an APC member privy to the inner workings of the party, citing a source, said the Oyegun-led panel cleared all the 23 presidential hopefuls but recommended a “safe list” which contains 13 names.
APC aspirants on the safe-list are:
Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Senator Godswill Akpabio
Tein Jack Rich
Those not on the list include:
Uju Ken Ohanenye
Recall that a member of the presidential screening committee of the All Progressives Congress had claimed that no presidential aspirant was disqualified.
The committee member revealed this while clarifying the report that 13 of the presidential aspirants have been disqualified.
The member who spoke to Premium Times on condition of anonymity said all the aspirants have the basic qualifications to run for president.
The source said, “However, based on our assessment of their chances at winning the presidential election for our party, we found that 13 of them cannot really do this, so we advised them to step down for others.
“We also did this to trim the list so that the party will not have to go into the primary with an unwieldy number of aspirants, 23, which will be very cumbersome.”
He said the presidential aspirants advised to step down are not obliged to take the advice.
The source further stated: “We have cleared all of them because they are all qualified and the party will issue them all with clearance certificates. We cannot stop any of the 13 if they insist on running and contesting in the primaries despite our advice.”
The member added that the statement the chairman of the APC screening committee made on Friday while submitting the committee’s report to the National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, was misinterpreted by newsmen.
The source claimed, “Go and read what the chairman said again and you would see that he did not mention the world disqualification.
“What the panel did was to recommend to the party leadership that at least 10 of the candidates should be persuaded to withdraw because they do not appear to stand a chance of winning the election for our party.
“No one was disqualified and they all can ignore our recommendation and go-ahead to participate in the primary.”
Meanwhile, barring any unforseen circumstances, President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday meet with all presidential aspirants of the APC.
Naija News understands that the President will also reveal his preferred presidential candidate during the meeting.
A top federal government official stated that Buhari will embark on a short trip to Ghana today (Saturday) and return back to the nation later in the day.
According to the source, President Buhari is expected to meet with the APC presidential aspirants on Saturday night or Sunday.