Screening has begun for the horde of aspirants jostling for the positions of chairmen and councilors in Cross River State. Over 1300 persons purchased the indication of intent form to bear the PDP flag in the local government elections scheduled for the 21st of September 2013.
A total of 151 aspirants vying for chairmanship coughed the sum of N500, 000 (five hundred thousand Naira ) each to obtain the party’s intent form while 849 aspirants angling for councilorship paid N100,000 (one hundred thousand Naira) for the intent form.
The aspirants who have been making rigorous rounds in their local government areas and wards to consult godfathers and political stakeholders in their wards and local government areas in the past three months had to also pay the sum of N750,000 seven hundred and fifty thousand Naira for tax clearance certificate to make them eligible to contest for chairmanship post while the Councillor aspirants paid the sum of N300,000 (three hundred thousand Naira ) for the tax clearance certificate.
The high number of those purchasing the forms made the party to extend the period for the sale of forms to enable more aspirants raise the needed money. Among the aspirants, thirty percent are females who are encouraged to go into the race by Affirmative Action which stipulates that a minimum of 35% positions be allotted to the women folk.
Senator Imoke who has been insistent on the state abiding by the Affirmative Action has instructed that in each of the three senatorial districts, one woman should occupy the post of chairman while three females should be elected to the position of councilor in each of the eighteen councils in the state.
The screening for three chairmanship aspirants selected from each of the local government areas by the party’s caucuses is taking place at Mirage Hotel in Calabar while that for councilors is taking place simultaneously in the three senatorial districts of the state by committees constituted at the PDP secretariat.
Ntufam John Okon said the screening is to ascertain the credibility and eligibility of those seeking to contest the election under the Party’s plat form and that some people who are not eligible would be dropped. “The process is continuous and those not eligible would be replaced because we have many people on standby”.
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