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By Desmond Ukandu (Politics Editor)

The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) has ruled out any possibility that the former President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, would be given an automatic ticket by the party to run for President, even if he joins the party ahead of the 2023 Polls.

This was made known in a statement on Friday, September 17, 2021, by the Secretary of the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John James Akpanudoedehe.

The ruling party scribe spoke against the backdrop of misrepresentation of his position on the waiver given to new members and defectors to the party by the National Executive Committee (NEC). The party leadership had made it clear at its December 8, 2020 meeting in a television program, that all APC members, irrespective of their status, must go through the party’s nomination process as outlined in its constitution.

The party also stated that waivers issued to new defectors do not mean they won't undergo nomination processes of contesting for positions in the party and as its candidates in the general elections. Akpanudoedehe also said the defection into the APC by any person would not make such a member enjoy the privilege of an automatic candidate of the party, adding that the waiver by NEC was not restricted to any individual.

“The waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections. Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution", Akpanudoedehe said.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, he said, resolved and granted waivers to persons who have recently joined the party and those who also want to join the party in the future to contest for positions in the APC and as party candidates in the elections.

The party secretary also said that by the NEC resolution, “new members will enjoy all the benefits and privileges accruable by the APC” but not the status of automatic candidate of the party. For the records, in my recent television interview reaction to the rumored plans by former President Goodluck Jonathan to join the APC, my statement was that NEC resolution was a blanket waiver to ALL new APC entrants, including the interviewee.

“The waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections. Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution.

“Excerpts of APC NEC 8th December 2020 resolution reads: “…new members will enjoy all the benefits and privileges accruable by virtue of their membership of the party. So, they will be able to contest for positions in the party. They will be able to contest elections without any requirement of being members for several years or period.” NNL.

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