Strong indications emerged last night that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may screen all its presidential aspirants tomorrow.
The party had yesterday postponed the exercise previously scheduled to take place today.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Felix Morka, who announced the postponement, said a new date for the screening exercise would be announced by the party.
But a reliable source in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC, told THISDAY that the screening might hold Tuesday.
The National Organising Secretary of the party, Mr. Suleiman Argungun, had last week said the screening for the 2023 presidential aspirants would hold today.
But Morka in yesterday’s statement explained: “The Screening Exercise for Presidential Aspirants of the All APC earlier scheduled to be held on Monday, May 23rd, 2022, is hereby postponed.
“A new date for the exercise will be announced shortly. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”
As of yesterday, the Screening Committee of the ruling party had not been constituted even before the exercise was postponed.
The aspirants contesting on the platform of the party are: Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu; former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; former Minister of Niger Delta Development, Senator Godswill Akpabio; former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.
Others are: former Imo State Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha; former Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Pastor Tunde Bakare; Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former Minister of State, Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba; former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru; former Zamfara State governor, Sen. Ahmed Yerima.
The aspirants also include: Senator Ajayi Borroffice; the only female aspirant, Mrs. Uju Kennedy; Pastor Nicholas Nwagbo; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole; Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawal; former Minister of Information, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu and Mr. Tein Jack Rich.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawal, has said his mission in Kano was to interact with the party delegates on his presidential bid ahead of the primaries and therefore pleaded with them to swing their votes in his favour.
Lawan spoke on Saturday night, while visiting the state to interact with delegates ahead of the 2023 primaries for his Presidential ambition.
According to him, “I’m here to see and interact with all the 500 delegates from Kano State and I cannot agree more with my leader, when he said this is the largest subnational democracy in Nigeria. I imagine that it could also be the largest subnational democracy in Africa.
“When His Excellency, our governor was rounding up his speech, he said Kano is a swing state and it can determine not only the primaries, with 500 delegates, but also the general election.
“Your Excellency, it will swing to my side by the Grace of God. I want all the 500 delegates. In Fact, I need all the 500 delegates, Your Excellency. If I can’t have the 500, please let me have at least 400.”
Ganduje, on his part, assured the Senate President of “full cooperation,” over his presidential ambition.
In a related development, the Ahmad Lawan Presidential Campaign Organisation, yesterday said the Senate President had not dumped his presidential ambition contrary to reports in some sections of the media.
A statement by the spokesperson of his campaign team, Mr. Iyke Ekeoma, in Abuja, dismissed the possibility of Lawan running for another term in the Yobe East Senatorial District.
The statement specifically refuted reports of the Senate President, withdrawing from the presidential race to pursue another term in the senate
Ekeoma said Lawan had encouraged his supporters not to entertain fear as he was working tirelessly to emerge the presidential candidate of the APC.
He described as mischief, the reports that he had withdrawn from the race. Ekeoma also noted that those who planted the report were jittery of Lawan’s political popularity, regional acceptance and dominance in political space.
He said the fake report was created to cause confusion.
Part of the statement read: “Nigerians should ignore the sponsored lies by some aspirants to distract the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan from his quest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the next presidential election.
“Contrary to their unnecessary fabrications against the nationally accepted Presidential ambition of Senator Lawan, we restate for the pleasure of progressive Nigerians that the falsehood trending currently in the Social Media that Senator Lawan had dropped his ambition to run for another term in Yobe East Senatorial zone is false.
“It is understandable that Lawan’s entrance into the presidential race to compete against 25 other aspirants has become the major discussion as his entrance has changed the political dynamics of the nation.
“The withdrawal reports are mere handiwork of politicians who are intimidated by the experience of the Senate President and his massive gains in the last few days.
“The ambition to become the president of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari is alive and Nigerians should be rest assured that he is in the race to win and not just to answer aspirant,” he added.