By Ebenezer Ishola
Presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are currently being screened to determine their suitability, party chair Abdullahi Adamu said yesterday.
A panel made up of lawyers in the legal department is looking through the documents submitted by the aspirants as well as reports submitted on them by security agencies.
Senator Adamu, spoke during an interview session with Hausa-speaking media organisations at his office in Abuja.
The transcript of the interview was made available to reporters covering the APC.
There is controversy over the number of aspirants. While 25 contenders submitted forms, sources said 28 were undergoing screening.
The APC fixed screening of its aspirants for Monday, but put it off indefinitely on Sunday night. No reason was given.
But the Presidential primary will hold between Sunday and Monday at the Eagles Square in Abuja.
Adamu said: “The party has laid down its rules and regulations for the aspirants. We would scrutinize all of them based on our guidelines to be sure we pick the right candidate for the party.”
Asked if a consensus arrangement being contemplated by the party is similar to how he (Adamu) emerged as the chairman, the former Nasarawa governor, said: “There is no truth in what you said. The reason is the chairmanship seat is not the same as that of the tussle for the presidency of the country. You can’t even compare the two of them. That question does not arise.
“You can’t stop our party stalwart from contesting election or aspiring for the presidency. It is their right and we are happy for them. There is nothing wrong with anybody aspiring for the exalted seat of the presidency. It is God that decides who gets what. Once God makes up his mind and says this is who He wants that is what we are praying for.
“We have 28 aspirants for the presidential ticket and everybody knows that all of them cannot get the ticket. If it’s God’s wish they all can even be president of the country one after the other. Our is to ensure justice in the choice of who emerges candidate of the party. That does not mean we are perfect. But we pray we do the right thing.”
On zoning, the chairman said the party would decide this after screening the aspirants. “We have not produced our candidate for president yet. We have to screen the aspirants to know the way forward. We have aspirants from across the country in the race. We will make the decision when we get there.”