A four-man committee set up by the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Markafi, Wednesday screened three aspirants of the party ahead of the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo State.
The Screening Committee headed by former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adediran, has Senator Abiye Sekibo, Senator Joshua Idaini, Ndubusi Nwingwe and Faruk Yahaya Idris as members.
Those screened were Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Solomon Edebiri and Matthew Iduoriyekemwen.
However, the name of one of the vocal aspirants before now, Secretary of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Osaro Onaiwu, was conspicuously missing.
It was gathered that he may have pitched his tent with the Ali Sheriff led faction of the party, thereby making himself unavailable for the Ahmed Makarfi ‘s camp.
Meanwhile, shortly after the screening exercise which took place at the party’s Secretariat in Benin, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Adeniran, expressed confidence in the screening, describing it as thorough.
“We are here for the screening of governorship aspirants with a view to electing a candidate through a credible and transparent primary election that will be taking place on Monday.
“The screening exercise has been undertaken, very thorough and we are indeed very proud as a party that we have a very wonderful and patriotic Nigerians and committed party leaders from Edo State who have shown interest in vying for the candidacy of our great party.
“Three of the governorship aspirants were screened one after the other and we found them very worthy. They have met the relevant criteria and conditions stipulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of course, the requirements of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“We believe that with these men of honour, we are sure that the details of the Electoral Act must be taken into consideration in the screening and by the time we present whoever emerges among them as required by the Electoral Law, it will be easy for our candidate to scale through,” Adeniran said.
He disclosed that the aspirants have agreed to work with whoever emerges as the party’s flag bearer during the September 10, 2016 governorship election.
Adeniran who attributed the crisis rocking the national leadership of the party to “sabotage,” however said it would not affect the party in Edo State.
Speaking on imposition of candidates, Prof. Adeniran said that the PDP has leant its lessons from the outcome of the last year general election, saying that due process would be followed and a level playing field would be provided for all the aspirants.
“We could see the handiwork of some people who are being used. We know what is happening and the PDP will not allow those being sponsored to have their way.The era of imposition, impunity has no place in the PDP; the era of self imposed leader is not in the PDP and our party members are working to uphold the internal democracy of the PDP,” he said.