The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday commenced the screening of presidential hopefuls seeking to fly the party’s flag in the 2023 general elections.
The exercise, expected to last two days, was conducted secretly at a popular hotel in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu; the party’s National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, were among party leaders seen at the venue of the exercise, Channels Television can confirm.
Former Ogun State governor and the lawmaker representing Ogun Central senatorial district, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who is also seeking to contest the presidential election on the APC platform, was also sighted.
A source told Channels Television that the APC Presidential Screening Committee was led by Mr John Oyegun, a former Edo State governor and former national chairman of the party.
More than 20 party faithful comprising serving members of the President’s cabinet, governors, lawmakers, and business leaders, among others have picked the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms sold at N100 million.
While the presidential hopefuls paid for the forms themselves in some cases, various interest groups purchased the nomination tickets for their preferred aspirants – a move that was rejected by some of the beneficiaries.
Among those who have publicly rejected the APC nomination and expression of interest forms purchased for them included the former President Goodluck Jonathan and the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
Channels Television gathered that the names of the duo, as well as that of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, have been removed from the list of those to be screened.
Still active in the race, in no particular order, include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, APC chieftain Bola Tinubu, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Mrs Uju Kennedy, Mr Tein Jack Rich, and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, among others.