The Nigerians have condemned the high cost of All Progressives Congress (APC), nomination forms. They described it as a recipe for massive corruption. In their separate reactions, they said aspirants when in office would loot massively in order to recoup their money.
The party, yesterday, announced it would commence sales of Expression of Interest and Nomination forms to aspirants in the forthcoming 2023 general election on Saturday.
Its National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, announced at the end of the party’s 11th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that the party has fixed the cost of the party’s presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for the 2023 presidential and governorship aspirants at N100 million and N50 million respectively.
Aspirants for senatorial positions would pay N20 million while Reps and Assemby would go for N10m and N2m respectively. Forms for female aspirants and persons with disability would be free for any elective positions while youths between ages of 25- 40 would purchase forms at a discount rate of 50 per cent.
The party has approved May 30 and June 1, for its special convention for its 2023 presidential primary and May 18 for its governorship primary. In the same vein, candidates would emerge through indirect primaries for all elective positions as against the widely rumoured consensus option meaning delegates would elect candidates at states and national congresses.
Those who have so far declared intention to contest for president include Bola Tinubu; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; ex-Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, Gbenga Hashim-Olawepo and Adamu Garba.
However, President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, alleged that pegging the presidential nomination form at such a humongous amount was a plot to scare away qualified Nigerians who would not be able to afford the fee.
“So, APC is saying that politics is not for the poor but for the rich. It also means that anybody who gets into office after such a huge nomination fee will have to recoup his money, thereby encouraging corruption in public offices. They have devalued and destroyed the naira and they still want to destroy its further,” he said.
President of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said the action amounts to a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise the younger generation saying: “I can’t imagine a younger person who can muster the courage to buy the form for presidency at such a huge cost.”
He lamented that the APC by its action has created a situation where Nigeria would continue to parade the older generation as leaders. He charged the younger generation in the party to insist that the right thing is done.
“If the APC decides to put their form at N100 million, then the youths must look for alternative platforms because it is not compulsory that they must contest under the APC…We, the youths, constitute over 80 per cent of the voting population, so we can decide the fate of the country,” he said.
Also, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) equally added its voice in condemning APC’s beyond-the-reach-of -the- poor forms cost..
Its Executive Director, Rafsanjani Auwal Musa, said the price tag had also rubbished the Not TooYoung To Run Act signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 31, 2018.
“Who can legally afford N100 million for a presidential ambition? This despicable decision by the APC only serves to marginalise the youths, women and average citizens.”
On its part, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) said anyone who buys the nomination form at such a scandalous amount should be arrested and handed over to the EFCC, ICPC or police for investigation on the source of the money.
“We only just finished carpeting Peoples Democratic Party for bastardising the process of nominating its presidential candidate by inflating the cost of its nomination form to N40 million, little did we know that the politicians who run the Federal Government and have ruined the national economy will peg theirs at the extravagant cost of N100 million. This same APC government is unable to meet the funding obligations for federal universities and has thereby has left millions of students of public schools to roam around in their homes due to industrial strike by university teachers for over two months. We urge Nigerians to initiate citizen’s arrest of anyone who buys the APC presidential form at the rate of N100 million and hand over these suspects to the relevant law enforcement agencies to explain their source of such huge funds. Citizens must demand accountability now or we are enslaved by the higher bidder who purchases the seat of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Reacting to the development, Adamu Garba, Gombe-born CEO of IPI Solutions and presidential aspirant tweeted: “1000million for the form….If we don’t come together and use our collective power to save this country from the strangulation of the moneybags, we are doing a great disservice to our generation and that of the future. We cannot continue to buy political offices in Nigeria, we need competent leaders come 2023.”
Meanwhile, the PDP, yesterday, closed the sale and submission of expression of interest and nomination forms for aspirants seeking to contest the 2023 general elections on its platform.
A total of 17 aspirants have obtained the PDP nomination form for the party’s presidential primary scheduled for May 28/29.
Those who obtained the forms include former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; Bala Mohammed, bauchi; Nyesom Wike, Rivers; Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom; former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose and publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu.
Also, in the contest for the PDP presidential ticket are former president, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Sam Ohuabunwa; investment banker, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; Cosmos Ndukwe; Charles Ugwu; Chikwendu Kalu; Tareila Diana and Nwachukwu Anakwenze.
SUPPORT LEAKBLAST JOURNALISM OF INTEGRITY AND CREDIBILITY
Good journalism costs a lot of money.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble Endeavor.
By contributing to LeakBlast, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.