When the 105 chairmanship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the upcoming Local Government elections in Kaduna arrived the Stone Edge Hotel on Wednesday, they had gone there with the intention that a screening process was to take place. However, none of them expected to be subjected to a written examination that involved essays.
The aspirants told Daily Trust that after paying N1.1 million to purchase the chairmanship forms, they were grilled by the screening committee on issues relating to Local Government Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), how to source them and about the party’s manifesto.
- Ethiopian Airlines unveils COVID-19 lab
- Traditional Institution Bill: A Plot to break a working system
One of the chairmanship aspirants for Kaduna South, Samaila Ibrahim who participated in the competency test described it as normal. He said although they were not told that they would sit for a test, he had no qualms with the innovative process of screening. Ibrahim explained that they had been asked to write an essay about themselves and their life struggles as well as other questions.
“It’s part of the way in which the party feels it should screen all its chairmanship aspirants. The exam was done successfully and we are ready for another screening process so as to have competent candidates,” he said.
The present local government chairman of Cafra Caino who was screened on Thursday expressed confidence at the process saying it went well.
Daily Trust reports that as at the time of close of sales of nomination forms, 105 aspirants had picked the APC forms to aspire for the chairmanship position across the 23 local government areas while 800 aspirants had purchased forms for the councillorship in the 255 state wards. The party had raked in at least N395, 500,000 from the sales of the forms with that of the chairmanship sold at N1.1 million and councillorship sold at N350, 000.
Against the May 5th scheduled date for the party primaries, a member of the screening committee and Kaduna State Commissioner of Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba told our correspondents that the competency test will reduce thuggery among aspirants adding that it was a process other parties could learn from.
“It will also reduce the idea of aspirants belonging to camps and will harbor unity in the party as well as reduce unqualified aspirants. We want to change the face of democracy so that good people can serve as leaders in Nigeria. We want to access them based on their capacity and performance and those who fail to perform can go back to school,” she said.
Baba further said: “When you go to other climes professors and doctorate degree holders are the ones contesting for the chairmanship position. We need chairmen that understand how to improve the Internally Generated Revenue of their LGAs. We want to better the lives of our people so we believe that by introducing this new innovation, it can be done.”
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State, said the process of conducting examination for chairmanship aspirants by the APC was not only laughable but embarrassing. The Kaduna State PDP State Publicity Secretary, Abraham Catoh while speaking with Daily Trust said the innovation employed by the APC was against the Nigerian constitution adding that what is required for anyone to qualify to aspire for the position of chairman had been clearly spelt out.
“You must have attended secondary school or its equivalent, you must be a Nigerian and a member of a political party. These are the requirements. This is not an academic exercise, it is politics, you need the right leadership qualities. There are so-called academicians and graduates that lack leadership qualities to handle the affairs of government. It is not about the paper qualification or writing or passing exam, so it is against the law,” he said.
Our correspondent could not get the reaction of the APC Chairman, Emmanuel Jekada as he did not respond to phone calls at the time of filing the report.