Nigeria’s strongest opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has screened 17 of its registered presidential aspirants held in Abuja on Friday behind closed doors.
The screening, was conducted ahead of the party’s primary elections which is scheduled to take place by 14th May, 2022.
Former Senate president, David Mark who headed the presidential screening committee, held at Legacy House, Abuja disclosed that out of the 17 aspirants, two were disqualified.
The reports reveals that among the aspirants screened were former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate Presidents, Bukola Saraki and Pius Anyim, former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi , Bauchi and Sokoto State Governors, Bala Mohammed and Aminu Tambuwal.
Others were River State Governor, Nyesom Wike, publisher, Dele Momodu, former banker, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, pharmacist, Sam Ohabunwa, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom and the only female presidential aspirant, Olivia Tariela.
Also screened were former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, a lawyer, Charles Okwudili, Chikwendu Kalu and Cosmos Ndukwe.
Premiumtimesng reports that all the successful aspirants were happy on the peaceful and well coordinated screening.
Some of the screened aspirants expressed their views below:
Pius Ayim Pius said, Part of the screening process is the verification of aspirants’ membership status and other vital credentials.
He also commended the screening committee for their efforts in coordinating a well planned screening.
Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed, one of the aspirants, also sang praises to the committee and the party for a successful screening.
Premiumtimesng reports that Mohammed when asked about the controversy surrounding his “emergence” as one of the consensus candidates for the North, the governor said he would wait for the PDP to make a decision.
He also appreciated what he called “the attestation” he has received from northern leaders.
While he pledged to run the race without rancour and violence against another contender, Mr Mohammed maintained that he would likely not run should the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, decide to join the race.
On his part, Peter Obi said he will not impose himself on delegates as he admonished them to reflect on the nation and decide what to do to guarantee a better future.
And on zoning, he said the party has the final say.
Ms Tariela was, however, firm on her thoughts on zoning – which she believes should be given to women.
“The men have been in power for 61 years. It is about time they zone it to a woman.”
PDP has however, remained silent on its decision on zoning as well as the mode of elections that will be used at the primary.
The two disqualified aspirants and the reasons for their disqualification was however not mention by the screening committee.