By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The ruling All Progressives Congress has shifted governorship primaries in Lagos and Imo States to Monday, October 1.
The governorship primary which was earlier scheduled to hold on Sunday along with other states, was shifted due to logistics constraints in both Lagos and Imo States, according to the party.
The National Chairman of the party,Adams Oshiomhole, disclosed this in Abuja on Saturday while inaugurating a 21-member National Convention Committee headed by the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
He also said that no fewer than 177 aspirants were currently jostling to get the tickets of the party in 29 states.
Oshiomhole said: “We have only 29 vacancies for governors and to fill these 29 vacancies, we have distinguished Nigerians, men and women, about 177 that applied,”
Speaking on high number of governorship aspirants Oshiomhole said the trend points to the level of interest, commitment, passion and above all the confidence that people have in the APC.
He said the governorship primaries will still hold on Sunday in 27 states as earlier scheduled.
Oshiomhole further reassured all party members across the country that the exercise will be free, fair and credible, urging them to support whoever emerges after the primaries to get final victory at general elections.
While justifying the disqualification of some aspirants, Oshiomhole said the party carefully chose who will be its flagbearer thorough screening exercise.
The party had disqualified two serving ministers, Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, and his counterpart at Women Affairs ministry, Senator Aisha Alhassan, who were both governorship aspirants in Oyo and Taraba States respectively, Explaining the situation Oshiomhole said: “We have tried as much as we can to carry out a thorough screening exercise in a way that will enable us to benefit from the recent things that have happened in our party that some of us believe that we can learn some positive lessons from there and we have heard of the implications of such actions and reviewed the way in which we select people who contest elections on our platforms.”
Oshiomhole also assured that the party will organise transparent primaries and then go ahead to hold a national convention that will be different from others.
He said that apart from ratifying the candidacy of President Buhari, the convention will be used to amend some aspects of the APC constitution.
“As we speak, we have our membership register which has been distributed to the 36 states.
“I believe that we have compelling reasons to conduct credible primaries across the country. The guidelines have been well articulated and we expect the chairmen to provide leadership in all states where they have been deployed to,” he said.