There was outrage on Monday as the All Progressives Congress Governorship Screening Committee disqualified 12 aspirants from the August 29 governorship primary in Kogi State.
However, Governor Yahya Bello, a member of the House of Representatives, Hassan Bello, Ekele Aisha Blessing and Abubakar Bashir were cleared for the primary by the six-member committee chaired by Senator Hope Uzodimma.
The family of the late former governor Abubakar Audu were the most hit as three members of the family were disqualified from the contest for reasons ranging from invalid nomination and not being financial members of the party.
The committee according to a report submitted to the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and sighted by our correspondent revealed that the screening took place in Lokoja on Friday.
The party raked in about N360m from the sale of nomination forms.
Those disqualified were Yahaya Audu, Mona Audu, Mohammed Audu, Danlami Mohammed, Babatunde Irukera, Rukkaya Ibrahim, Sani Lulu Abdulahi, Gen. Patrick Akpa, Prof Mohammed Onaili, Yakubu Mohammed and Rear Admiral Usman Jibril (retd).
The results of the screening committee sparked protest from the aspirants who addressed journalists on Monday in Abuja.
Addressing journalists on behalf of other aspirants, Irukera said the process was deliberately skewed to favour the governor and his allies.
Irukera said, “The August 29 primary is already compromised, I find it difficult not to come to that conclusion. Even if the clearance is done tomorrow, the momentum is gone.”
However, the All Progressives Congress appealed to aggrieved governorship aspirants to be patient and pursue internal mechanism for dispute resolution.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-onilu, said, “There are clear procedures for the conduct of screening of aspirants in our party’s constitution and the Electoral Act. Screening itself is not the final stage in the qualification process.”