The race for the 2023 Nigeria Presidential election is getting closer and declaration of intent has intensified.
Both the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the opposing People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have produced several aspirants who are in the race for the Aso Rock Villa.
The latest declaration by former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, has raised eyebrows as many, even from the opposition party, have drummed support for the Minister.
34 aspirants have purchased forms for declaration of interest and nomination forms from both APC and PDP, the two leading political parties in the nation.
Meanwhile, two candidates have been screened out by the People’s Democratic Party during it’s indoor screening at the Legacy House, Abuja.
The aspirants appeared before the panel led by former Senate President, David Mark, and at the end of the exercise, Mr. Mark told the journalists that of the 17 aspirants, two were disqualified.
Senator Mark, however refused to disclosed the aspirants who were screened out.
Among the aspirants screened were former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; former Senate Presidents, Bukola Saraki and Pius Anyim; former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Bauchi and Sokoto State Governors, Bala Mohammed and Aminu Tambuwal.
Others were River State Governor, Nyesom Wike; publisher, Dele Momodu; former banker, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; pharmacist, Sam Ohabunwa; Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom, and the only female presidential aspirant, Olivia Tariela.
Also screened were former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose; a lawyer, Charles Okwudili; Chikwendu Kalu and Cosmos Ndukwe.
In the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), same number of aspirants (17) have been screened, and all will stand for the Party’s primaries.
This means that a whopping sum of about 1.7 billion Naira have been received by the party as each of the 17 aspirants purchased their nomination form at the rate of 100 million Naira each.
The presidential aspirants that have picked their forms include the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Jigawa state Governor, Abubakar Badaru; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello; the National Leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu; and Senator Rochas Okorocha.
Interestingly, a female presidential aspirant, Uju Kennedy, has also picked her forms after paying the sum of N30m as directed by the party, among others.
Others include, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; running mate to President Muhammadu Bahari in the 2011 elections, Pastor Tunde Bakare; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi; former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani.
More aspirants are still expected, as some have indicated interest but are yet to purchase their forms:
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole; Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio; former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; and former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole.
Others are Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan; Governor of Cross Rivers State, Ben Ayade; Ihechukwu Dallas Chima; Usman Iwu; Mr. Tein Jack-Rich; Adamu Garba; and Business mogul, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim.
Following the array of aspirants that have declared their interest, the National Working Committee (NWC) has extended the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for the 2023 general election to Tuesday, May 10, 2022.