The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday, screened all the 17 presidential aspirants gunning for its ticket.
At end of the exercise, two of them were, however, disqualified from the race.
The nine-member screening committee led by former Senate President, David Mark, met with all the aspirants at Legacy House, which is used by the party as its presidential campaign office.
Mark, who disclosed this to journalists after the screening process, refused to divulge the names of the disqualified aspirants. He also refused to state the reasons why they were disqualified.
The screening procedure include, checking for their academic qualifications, tax returns; voters cards, financial capacity; party membership; and their proof of their nationality.
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However, the aspirants screened by the committee were former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; immediate past president of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki; former Secretary to the government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim.
Also screened were Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike; Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel; 2019 PDP vice presidential candidate and former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi; former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose; a United States-based medical doctor; Nwachukwu Anakwenze; media mogul, Dele Momodu.
Others were investment banker and economist, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; Pharmacist Sam Ohuabunwa; former speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Cosmos Ndukwe; Charles Ugwu; Rt Hon Chikwendu Kalu as well as the only female aspirant in the race, Tareila Diana.
Speaking on the outcome the screening exercise, Mark, who said it went well, added that, “We’ve been here since morning, and I’m sure you people have been here since morning also.
“We’ve been very thorough this time around. See how much time we’ve taken to screen each individual who has been here. We screened 17 aspirants, which is quite a number. We cleared 15, two have not been cleared.
“Now don’t ask me those who have been cleared and those who have not been cleared because I won’t tell you. We haven’t released the result to them. So if you ask question in that direction, you’re wasting time. I think on the whole, that’s what we’ve done. And we’re quite satisfied with the standard of the aspirants by and large. And we think that any ne of them who gets the ticket would win the election in 2023.”
On what the committee found wrong with disqualified aspirants, he said: “They didn’t meet the requirements.”
When pressed to be specific, he said “No, I can’t be.”
He said the committee will send the report to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP on Friday night.
He added, “We’ll submit and then those who were not cleared have a right to appeal. I’m sure they will go on appeal becasue there is an appeal panel.”
On the panel’s impression of the aspirants, he said “We feel that they all very well qualified, those we’ve cleared. And that like I just said anyone of them who is picked will win the 2023 presidential election.”