THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has realised a total sum of N646 million from the sale of presidential election expression of interest and nomination forms.
This emerged after the party closed the sale and submission of forms for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections on Wednesday.
Seventeen presidential aspirants were able to beat Wednesday’s deadline for the submission of forms.
The presidential aspirants who have submitted their expression of interest and nomination forms include a former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; a former Senate President Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed; Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, an Investment banker Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; a pharmacist Sam Ohuabunwa and a former Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly Cosmos Ndukwe.
Others are Charles Ugwu; a female aspirant Tareila Diana; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim; Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel; a former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi; a former Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose; a United States-based medical practitioner, Nwachukwu Anakwenze and media mogul Dele Momodu.
A statement released by the National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Bature Umar, said the party realised N640 million from the 16 male presidential aspirants and N6 million from the female aspirant, Tareila Diana, bringing the total sum to N646 million.
The statement said the screening of presidential aspirants will take place on April 27, while that of governorship aspirants will hold on April 26.
According to the statement, House of Representatives, senatorial, and House of Assembly aspirants would be screened on April 25.
Hearing on appeals arising from the screening exercise was fixed as follows: April 25 for the House of Assembly; April 27 for the House of Representatives and Senate; April 29 for governorship and April 30 for the presidential election.
Meanwhile, PDP national chairman Iyorchia Ayu on Wednesday said the party has the best aspirants and not the ones “who run around the stadium but cannot run a railway station”.
Ayu, who was reacting to the presidential declaration of Minister of Transportation Chibuike Amaechi, added that PDP presidential aspirants “are people who can perform”.
He promised to provide a level playing field for all the party’s aspirants.
“Our job as National Working Committee (NWC) is to prepare a level playground for you to come and play your game. I want to assure you that we are committed to the most transparent and fair primaries in the history of the PDP.”
Meanwhile, a group in the party, PDP New Generation, has warned the National Working Committee (NWC) to guard against godfatherism and imposition of candidates ahead of the party primaries.
Addressing journalists during the launch of Operation Rescue Nigeria in Abuja, Audu Mahmood, the director-general of the group, said what Nigerians need is to recreate hope and make the country safe and united.
He said there would be a heavy burden on the next government to be formed by the PDP and as such the party needs to present leaders that have the capacity to address the country’s challenges.