Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party Screening Committee for Bayelsa and governor of Oyo State Seyi Makinde, says the party has no preferred aspirant for its primary election in Bayelsa.
Makinde said this while speaking at the screening of PDP aspirants for Bayelsa on Monday at Wadata Plaza, Abuja.
Makinde noted that the committee would be fair to all governorship aspirants from the state to ensure that the party went into proper election strong and united.
He said: “We don’t want a situation whereby our party will go into the election with a divided house.
“We want to go into the election as one big family that we are, with a view to retaining the state.”
He expressed optimism that PDP would continue to remain a strong and united party, even after the primaries.
Makinde appealed to all aspirants to cooperate with the committee to make the exercise easy.
A governorship aspirant, Timi Alaibe speaking with newsmen at the venue of the exercise, called on party delegates in the state to think deeply while making decision on aspirants to cast their votes for.
He said: “Delegates should be clear in the decision to ensure that they vote for who will understand the need of the people.
“Those who have experience, those who have capacity.”
Alaibe, who was former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission promised to attract investors in the private sector to Bayelsa, if he emerged governor.
Another aspirant and incumbent Deputy Governor of Baylesa, retire Rear Admiral John Jonah, expressed satisfaction and confidence in the committee.
He said: “I have the confidence that they will deliver. I am sure of clinching the ticket.”
Joseph Erico, governorship aspirant from Kogi, alsonexpressed confidence in the committee and the outcome.
Asked if he was sure of successful passing through the exercise, Erico said if it was to go by merit he would be the party’s candidate.
Another aspirant in Kogi, Musa Wada, said that from the screening, there was clear indication that PDP had changed.
Wada said if elected, he would change the narrative of governance in Kogi.
The only female aspirant from Kogi, Grace Adejo, who commended the process, said that being the only female aspirant gave her more motivation in the process.
He said: “I never see myself as a lady; the most important this is to dislodge the incumbent.
“The woman angle is an added advantage. I have the education, the experience and qualification to bring development to Kogi.”
Adejo pledged to create jobs, promote women empowerment and unity within the state.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise was being held at two separate venues simultaneously.
Aspirants from Bayelsa were undergoing screening at the party’s National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse zone 5; while aspirants from Kogi were being screened at Legacy House, the party’s presidential campaign office in Maitama.
The Chairman of the Screening Committee for Kogi is the Governor of Taraba, Darius Ishaku.
As at the time of filing this report, other governorship aspirants were still undergoing screening at both venue.