…Our job is to verify, not judicial panel – APC screening committee
Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Uncertainty pervaded the national secretariat venue of the screening exercise for Edo state governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the the state governor, Godwin Obaseki who was present did not wait to be screened before storming out of the party secretariat.
Obaseki who was the second aspirant to arrive after Osaro Obaze came in at 1.02pm with few of his aides and went straight to the NWC Hall venue of the screening.
Not quite ten minutes later, the governor came down, head for his awaiting vehicle and zoomed off without uttering a word.
As at the completion of screening for Pastor Ize – Iyamu, the fourth adpirant to be screened, governor Obaseki did not return to the party secretariat for the exercise.
It was alleged by a staff of the secretariat that Obaseki might have been asked by the screening committee to fetch additional documents that would aid its assignment.
However, a source not speaking authoritatively said the governor had to leave to meet up with a critical engagement in town.
It was furthet learnt that there was an undetstanding that Obaseki’s screening could be cunducted later in the day virtually through zoom technology.
As at the time of filling this report around 6.30pm, party members, Obaseki’s supporters and journalists waited endlessly for a possible return of the governor to no avail.
Aspirants screened on Wednesday were; Osaro Obaze, Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi and Osagie Ize – Iyamu
However, it is expected that Governor Obaseki may turn up today to be screened alongside the sixth aspirant, Mathew Iduoriyekemwen.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the screening committee, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba has said the committee is neither a judicial or investigative panel.
Rather, he said the committe inaugurated on Tuesday is saddled with the responsibility of verifying documents and claims submitted by each of the six aspirants jostling for APC governorship ticket.
He told journalists at the commencement of their assignment at the party’s national secretariat that the committee took the challenge not because It was easy, but complex, adding that the integrity of the committee members are at stake.
He stated: “So, that is what we are going to be dealing with and I urge as gentlemen of the press, the success of this exercise, the progress of we have achieved in sustaining democracy, you can either make or mar it.
“Investigative journalism is something that I will encourage so that report can based on fact, not on hear say, not on assumptions, not on just market analysis.
“But you can make our work easier if reports are based of facts. I am the Chairman of the committee and I find it necessary for us to have this understanding that any statement has to be official or has to be sourced”.