The Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said no aspirant has been screened or disqualified from the governorship race.
A six-man committee led by the House of Representative member (Owan, Edo State), Julius Ihonvbere was set up last Monday to prune the number of aspirants from 29 to a manageable number.
After the committee met with the aspirants, a report emerged that the committee has screened and reduced the number of aspirants to four, a development which is causing upset in the party.
Debunking the report yesterday, the APC publicity secretary in the state, Peter Uwadiae, said the Ihonvbere committee was an advisory one and not a screening committee.
He said the committee was to meet with aspirants and see how the numbers can be pruned down so that their primary that would hold in February would be free of rancour.
He said, “There is no truth in the news making the rounds that governorship aspirants have been screened and about 25 have been disqualified. Based on the advice of the National Working Committee of the party, we set up a committee led by Julius Ihonvbere to interface with the aspirants on the need to reduce the number of aspirants to a manageable one. It is after the close of sale of forms that the NWC will set up a screening committee.
“The Committee also advised the Edo APC to be in a talking relationship with the aspirants so that those who know they cannot go all the way can exit the race. So no aspirants has been screened and disqualified,” he added.
Uwadiae also said that the sale of the expression form, which cost N10 million and the nomination form, which goes N40 million were on sale for anyone who wants to vie for the governorship position on the platform of the party, noting that more aspirants are expected to join the race
He said many of the aspirants are seeing reason why they should not purchase the forms while others were still eager to test their popularity at the primaries, noting that those who lose at the primaries have promised to stay and work for the party in the election.
He said the party was going to the polls to win, urging members and supporters not to get agitated as the party believes in unity, fair play and democracy.
He also urged party faithful not to allow the situation to cause rancour and disaffection among them which will rub off on the party negatively at the polls.