Imo State Governor Hope Uzudimma, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Senator Smart Adeyemi and Kogi State Deputy Governor Edward David Onoja, and 20 other aspirants have been cleared by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the party’s governorship primaries in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states.
The conduct of off-season governorship elections in the three states has been fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for November 11, 2023.
The 24 aspirants appeared before two screening panels of the ruling party on Saturday ahead of the shadow polls scheduled for next month.
READ ALSO: WAEC Suspends Manual Confirmation Of Results
One of the aspirants, James Faleke explained why his absence from the screening.
Faleke, who is Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, said his decision not to participate in the Kogi State governorship race was borne out of a desire to subject his personal interest to national interest.
The federal lawmaker is the Secretary of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC).
Last month, some concerned APC members drawn from the three senatorial districts raised money together to buy the governorship nomination form for Faleke, urging him to join the race.
But the lawmaker urged those who bought the form to keep alive the hope of a better Kogi without him in the saddle.
According to him, he contributes his quota to the development of the Confluence State in many other ways.
He said: “I am of the opinion that my personal interest must not override national interest. I, alongside several other supporters, worked hard for the election of our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It would be out of place for me to jump out of the team to start pursuing personal goals.
“The people that bought form on my behalf meant well and I appreciate them. I am pleading with them and my other numerous supporters in Kogi State to see the larger picture and to note that I am still with them in spirit, body, and soul. I will continue to contribute to the development of the state.”
The Nation gathered that the Senator Abubakar Sodangi and Alhaji Ali Saad Brinikudu screening panels cleared all the aspirants, except Faleke.
“All the six aspirants from Bayelsa State and 17 from Kogi States that appeared before the two screening panels were cleared to proceed to the primary in their respective states,” a source in the Directorate of Organisation of the party confided in our reporter yesterday.
Uzodimma, who faced the panel members, was returned unopposed from Imo State.
Those cleared alongside Silva to fight for the APC ticket in Bayelsa State, are 2019 governor-elect, Chief David Pereworimini Lyon; Ogbomade Isikima Johnson; Prof Ongoebi Etebu Maureen; Festus Daumiebi Sunday, and Joshua Maciver.
Those to slug it out with Adeyemi and Onoja for the Kogi ticket ahead of the November 11 poll are Governor Yahaya Bello’s Chief of Staff Abdulkareem Asuku; APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary Muritala Yakubu Ajaka; former Governor Abubakar Audu’s son, Prince Shauibu Abubakar Audu; former Executive Director, Rural Electrification Agency Sanusi Ohiare; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Salami Momodu O. Deedat and Auditor-General, Local Government, Usman Ododo,
Others are: Chairman Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Crime, Senator Oseni Yakubu; Halima l. Alfa; Momoh Jibrin; Alhaji Yusuf Yakubu Okala; Asiru Idris; Prof. Stephen Ikani Ocheni; Abubakar Yahaya Achimugu; Idachaba Friday and David A. Jimoh.