Convention: All aspirants, except one, favoured consensus – Oyegun tells APC
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Convention: All aspirants, except one, favoured consensus – Oyegun tells APC

June 3, 2022

Convention: All aspirants, except one, favoured consensus – Oyegun tells APC

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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- Wants zoning addressed

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential screening committee, Chief John Odigie Oyegun has revealed that all the presidential aspirants screened by the Committee, except one, agreed to consensus arrangement in fielding the candidate of the Party.

Oyegun, a former Chairman of the Party, revealed this, Friday, while submitting the report of the Committee to the National Chairman of the Party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

According to Oyegun, all the aspirants agreed to party supremacy and will likely accept the decision of the party on consensus with wide consultation.

The remaining aspirants, Oyegun said, said he will only consent to the arrangement if it favours him alone.

Although the name was not mentioned, the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has insisted on contest saying he will return to Lagos if he is defeated.

While asking the Chairman not to be afraid of contest, Oyegun however said the report of the Committee will give the Party a leeway within the remaining time to the convention, to take decisions.

“Against every aspirant, the issue of consensus and it is pleasant surprise that 98 to 99% agreed that the party is supreme. And that whatever the party finally decides with proper consultation, they will likely to accept.

“We had only one exception who said ‘yes’, he will accept consensus so long as it is built on him. So, I think it is a point that needs to be made and emphasize.

“So, that gives you a lot of leeway in the days and hours ahead to trim down even more drastically. But, finally we think you should not be afraid for a contested primary if anybody insist on the contest.”

The former Edo State Governor also applauded the quality of the aspirants and their sense of understanding at finding solutions to the challenges facing the Country.

“The point I want to make is the quality of the people that wants to govern this country.

“The second point I want to make is that, we were surprised at the active participation of the youthful members of the party. Some of whom really surprised us at to what they have accomplished in life, their understanding of the situation in this country and why they want to have the privilege of governing this country.

“What was important was that they so believed in the country and the party that they were able to pay the sum that some of us considered princely handsome to participate in the process. And I think the party ought to path itself in the back for them.”

He further revealed that the aspirants were grilled on their qualification and the ability and understanding of Nigeria situation, the later which he said became critical consideration for the screening since all aspirants were constitutionally qualified.

“Our report is basically simple and short. I don't want to beat about the bush. There were two aspects to it. The basic constitutional qualifications for you to aspire to be a president of the federal Republic of Nigeria. That was simple and straight forward.

“And on that basis, every single aspirant that presented himself qualified. Because it was basic and simple. But we are a governing party. And we are keen on continuing the process and replacing at the proper time with our president with yet another member of the party.

“So, the ability to lead, background, experience and your understanding of the Nigerian situation, your ideas as to how issues, difficulties and problems can be addressed and how the country can be moved forward became a critical consideration.

“It is on that basis of ‘who are you?’, ‘what have you achieved?’, ‘your understanding of the nation and things you can contribute to move the nation forward’. It was on the basis of that we made our final shortlist.

“I don't list the names. I think I will leave that to you. We have a shortlist which brought the number down to 13. We could have cut it a little shorter. But we wanted a pedigree with a longer element to surface.”

The Committee also hint on the need to consider zoning the ticket ahead of the convention.

“I will conclude by saying that we only drew a word of caution. That there is this cleavage that I gradually becoming the Centre stage in a national discourse. As between the north and the south and the presidency.

“And we just want to advise strongly that the party should please think of it in making its decision, address it and let it influence their thoughts because it has its own implications.”

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