PDP disqualifies Gov. aspirants with less than N500m in their Bank Accounts
The PDP in Osun East senatorial district declared on Monday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, that it had disqualified governorship aspirants in the area who had less than N500 million in their bank accounts. Duro Famojuro, the party's deputy leader of Ijesa Elders' Caucus, said this at a news a conference in Ilesa, organised to present the party's aspirant from the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Gbenga Onigbogi, a House of Representatives member, who was adopted by the group, formally declared his intention for the 2011 governorship election. Mr. Famojuro said the caucus investigated the background of about 14 aspirants, to determine their legibility and financial strength through their bank accounts. He said the scrutiny was necessary to avoid the mistake of the past when the party sponsored campaigns for aspirants.
“Anybody who has less than N500 million can't go for the governorship race. It is the caucus' decision that nobody will give aspirants the money to campaign.”
Mr. Famojuro said Mr. Onigbogi met the criteria and had been adopted as the only aspirant qualified to run the race in Ijesaland for the governorship seat.
He also said that many young aspirants were eliminated because they had not contested for even a councillorship position before aspiring to become governor.
Paupers are not welcome
Ebenezer Babatope, a PDP chieftain and a member of the caucus, said the race was not for paupers. On complaints by some aspirants that the group was exploiting them, Mr. Babatope said they failed to meet the requirements.
The former minister of transport said a committee was set up to scrutinise aspirants who were required to pay money for the exercise. He said that though many of the aspirants failed to pay the levies, the caucus did not stop anyone from pursuing his governorship ambition.
“If the party at the state level conducts free, fair, and open primaries, we, the elders here, are ready to embrace whoever emerges as the PDP candidate for the election,” he declared.