Ahead of the governorship primary election of the APC, the screening committee of the ruling party, on Monday, disqualified 12 of the 16 aspirants vying for the seat of the governor of Kogi State on its platform.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced plans for the upcoming Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections. The elections will hold simultaneously in the two states on November 16.
The disqualified aspirants include Mohammed and Mustapha Audu, sons of the late Governor Abubakar Audu.
Others are Usman Jubril (retired navy admiral); Seidu Ogah (a professor); Yakubu Mohammed (journalist), Hadiza Ibrahim, Bashir Gegu, Sani Lulu, Tunde Irukera, Mohammed Onaili, and Usman Jibrin.
The seven-member screening committee led by Hope Uzodinma, however, cleared the sitting governor, Yahaya Bello, and three others. The others are Hassan Abdullahi, Ekete Blessing, and Abubakar Bashir.
The party’s reasons for disqualifying the aspirants ranged from some of them being non-financial members, invalid nomination forms, invalid age declaration, and invalid membership cards.
For instance, one of the reasons the committee gave for not clearing all of the disqualified aspirants was that they were not financial members of the party. this means that they have not been paying dues to the party.
For an individual to contest for an office according to the APC constitution, he or she must be a financial member of the party for at least a year. A new member who must contest must be granted a waiver by the national secretariat.
Another reason for the disqualification given by the committee was that some of the aspirants had discrepancies in their age.
They accused Mohammed Onaili of having two different dates of birth.
“Aspirant admitted to it and has no reasonable explanation to give,” the committee said in its report.
Another aspirant who was also disqualified based on age was Usman Jibrin whom the committee said had two different dates of birth.
“Discrepancy in the date of birth. On 16/09/1959 and on his passport 16/09/1960. The aspirantadmited error and apologized,” the report read.
Others disqualified on issues that bother on age declaration were Mustapha Audu, Yahaya Audu, and Babatunde Irukera.
Another common reason for the disqualifications was incomplete/invalid nomination by party members. This means that the aspirant did not get the required number of party members to nominate him or her.