The campaign against vote-buying in order to ensure the credibility of the 2023 election has now been threatened following the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC)'s National Executive Committee (NEC) to put the nomination form for the presidential election at N100m.
Legit.ng recalls that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC had on Wednesday, April 20, fixed its presidential expression of interest and nomination forms at N100 million for any aspirant willing to run in the poll.
Speaking at the end of the party's NEC meeting on Wednesday at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, the spokesperson of the party, Felix Morka told reporters that the expression of interest form would go for N30 million while the nomination form will be sold for N70 million, bringing it to a total of N100m.
The party had on Wednesday also announced a slash in the nomination form for young Nigerians aspiring for various positions by 50 percent. Those below the age of 40 will now pay for 50 percent of the nomination and expression interest forms.
But there are concerns over the credibility and participation of interested Nigerians in the poll following this latest announcement.
Do you have a groundbreaking story you would like us to publish? Please reach us through firstname.lastname@example.org!
While some Nigerians believe that the development would discourage those who have the real interest of the country at heart, others believe that even with the 50 percent reduction for young people, it will still be difficult for them to meet up.
Afenifere’s position on APC nomination/expression of interest forms
According to a socio-political group, Afenifere, the high cost of the forms would deny many Nigerians the opportunity to participate in the polls.
According to the Secretary-General of Afenifere, Mr. Sola Ebiseni, the high cost of the form was a way to further frustrate common Nigerians who may be willing to participate in the affairs of government.
APC forms silencing ordinary Nigerians
Legit.ng observes that an ordinary Nigerian who is not involved in any form of crime and does not loot government treasury cannot afford a N100 million for nomination forms without approaching the bank for a loan.
The fear, however, is when such a person takes a loan and emerged victorious at the end of the election, he will have to do everything possible to settle his loan before facing the problem of the country.
It's also generally believed that a genuine businessman who would want to participate in the exercise may not want to gamble with such an amount when he is not sure of grabbing the ticket from the ‘claws and jaws’ of 'money-bag' politicians.
APC, PDP nomination form price tag, a conspiracy to shut ordinary Nigerians out of governance, says Afenifere
According to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, it's going to be practically impossible to secure the form without approaching the banks.
HURIWA in a statement by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, seeking to serve Nigerians, according to politicians is another Ponzi scheme, hence most of the aspirants will gamble through the acquisition of loans.
It lamented that little did people know that the APC would take this route after castigating the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for fixing the price of their presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for N40 million.
HURIWA lamented that the same APC government has left millions of Nigerian students at home since ASUU embarked on an industrial strike. The group said government was unable to meet ASUU's demands but politicians have stolen enough money to buy forms for different political offices.
APC nomination form: Are political offices for sales?
Similarly, an APC presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, said he was shocked by the announcement. In a tweet, Garba lamented that political offices are not for sale and won't remain so forever. He advocated a change in the process.
According to him:
"If we don’t come together and use our collective power to save this country from the st*rangulation of the moneybags, we are doing a great disservice to our generation and that of the future."
APC reasonable decisions identified
But the All Progressives Congress, in what some people have termed reasonable, said the form was free for people with disabilities and women. And as earlier stated, it has slashed the price of the forms by 50 percent for young people.
Legit.ng observes that by this action, some special Nigerians, especially women now have the opportunity to fully participate in the exercise. Only women can hold themselves down from actively participating in the polls.
We cannot continue to buy political offices in Nigeria, Adamu Garba reacts to N100M APC presidential forms
That the price of the forms has put to doubt the credibility of the polls cannot easily be dismissed even as Nigerians prepare for the exercise fixed for 2023.
Legit.ng had reported that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Wednesday fixed its presidential form at the rate of 100 million.
While the expression of interest form will sell for N30 million the nomination form would be sold for N70 million.
Since the announcement, Nigerians have paid more attention to the development in discussions, highlighting the effects of the high cost of the forms to the polity.