Chief John Oyegun, the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress Presidential Screening Committee, explained why the Screening Committee cut the number of presidential candidates from 28 to 13 on Friday.
In a statement released on Friday, Oyegun stated that the party would have chosen a candidate with a lower number than 13, but he chose to allow the party to choose their preferred candidate.
"First, we interacted with 23 member aspirants," he explained. And my first observation is that we were extremely occupied. There were a total of 23 people who showed up. We had several other prominent Nigerians, both inside and outside the country, who had applied but were unable to proceed with their applications for various reasons."
"The second point I'd like to make is that we were taken aback by the party's youthful members' active participation. Some of them astounded us with their achievements in life, their understanding of the situation in this country, and why they want to be allowed to govern this country. What mattered was that they believed so strongly in the country and the party that they were willing to pay a sum that some of us thought was princely handsome to participate in the process. And I believe the party should take a back path for them."
"Aside from basic background, experience, and awareness of Nigerian situations, ideas as to how concerns, obstacles, and problems might be addressed were major considerations that were examined," Oyegun said of the screening criteria.
"Our report is clear and brief," he said, "and I'm not going to beat around the bush." There are two sides to it.
"The fundamental constitutional requirements for you to run for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are as follows: That was easy.
"And on that basis, every aspirant who applied was qualified." Because it was straightforward and straightforward. However, we are the ruling party. And we're eager to keep the process going by replacing our president with another member of the party at the appropriate time.
"As a result, your leadership ability, background, experience, and understanding of the Nigerian situation, as well as your ideas for addressing issues, difficulties, and problems and moving the country forward, became critical considerations. It is on this foundation that we will determine who you are, what you have accomplished, your understanding of the country, and what you can contribute to moving the country forward. We compiled our final shortlist based on these criteria. I don't make a list.
Oyegun explained that the number of candidates could have been reduced to 13, but that it was left to the party to choose their preferred candidate and to emphasize "the calibre of people within the party."
"We have a shortlist," he explained, "which has reduced the number to 13." We could have made it a little more concise. However, we desired a pedigree with a longer element to emerge. Who knows if they will be noticed if they are seen. We deliver them to the gathering. And it is up to the party to choose their preferred candidate."
"I'll conclude by saying that we only drew a word of caution," he said. That there is this schism, which is gradually taking centre stage in the national debate. As for the presidency, there is a divide between the north and the south. And we simply want to urge the party to consider it when making its decision, to address it, and to allow it to influence their thoughts because it has its own implicit."
"The issue of consensus was raised against all aspirants, and it was a pleasant surprise that 98 to 99 per cent agreed that the party is supreme. And they are likely to accept whatever the party ultimately decides after proper consultation. Only one person said yes, and he said he would accept consensus as long as it was based on him. As a result, I believe it is an important point to make and emphasize. As a result, you'll have plenty of time in the days and hours ahead to drastically reduce your weight. Finally, we believe you should not be concerned about a contested primary if someone insists on it."