A 2023 presidential hopeful on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze, has reacted to the purported disqualification by the screening committee chaired by Senator David Mark by the national leadership of the main opposition party in Nigeria.
AFRIPOST recalls that the Peoples Democratic Party had announced the disqualification of two out of the seventeen presidential aspirants namely, former lawmaker, Cosmos Ndukwe, and a US-based medical doctor, Nwachukwu Anakwenze.
David Mark, the chairman of the 9-men PDP Screening Committee and former President of the Nigerian Senate, who disclosed this, while briefing newsmen after the exercise last Friday in Abuja, did not give reasons for the purported disqualification but simply said they did not meet the requirements.
He also noted that the two aspirants will not be refunded their N40m fees paid for nomination and expression of interest forms.
However, while addressing support group on the delayed clearance, the appeal and the party’s position on his reported disqualification by the PDP screening committee through the Director-General of his Campaign Organisation, Comrade Eric Okuwole, on Monday, Anakwenze, advised those allegedly spreading fake news about his disqualification to desist from the act and allow the party’s appeal committee to make its recommendations on the direction of the primaries billed for May 28, this year.
It was contained in a release forwarded to AFRIPOST on Monday night.
According to Oluwole, “there are lots of rumours on social media that Dr Anakwenze, has been disqualified from the presidential race. As Director-General of the campaign organisation, I don’t have any option but to clear the mind of Nigerians that it was fake news designed to paint my principal black because of his rising popularity and chance of clinching the ticket to represent the party in the presidential election next year”.
He clarified that the screening by former Senator David Mark, went well but that his principal was asked to supply additional documents, which were not available immediately during the exercise.
The PDP presidential aspirant further said that the documents were later sorted out and presented to the screening committee and expressed surprise that they were not admitted, but referred to the Presidential Appeal Committee which should sit after the holidays.
His words, “We brought the documents to the appeal with a well articulated statement as was instructed; and we presented these to the appeal panel, which after examination, asked him to go”.
It would also be recalled that another presidential aspirant under the platform of the PDP and the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Cosmos Ndukwe, had during the weekend, said he was unaware of his purported disqualification by the PDP National Screening committee chaired by an ex-President of the Nigerian Senate, David Mark.
Ndukwe who spoke in a phone interaction with AFRIPOST, maintained that the party leadership was yet not communicated the development to him, as he would not comment further on the disqualification carried out by the screening committee constituted by the national leadership to screen the seventeen persons jostling for the presidential ticket of the main opposition PDP in the upcoming primaries.