- Criticism has continued to come from all angles over the outrageous aspirants' nomination fee for the PDP and APC
- A coalition of CSOs have accused the leadership of the APC and PDP of trying to auction the leadership of the country to the highest bidder
- Meanwhile, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) says the use of taxpayers money for campaign activities is criminal and unacceptable
Nasarawa, Keffi - In a build-up to the 2023 general elections, a coalition of civil society groups have described the outrageous price of political party nomination forms for aspirants vying for office as an attempt to marginalize women and youths.
Leader of the coalition and executive director of the civil society legislative advocacy centre (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani made this known on Wednesday, May 11 during a town hall meeting in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
The meeting tagged Strengthening Accountability Among Civil Society (SANCUS) project was attended by 31 other civil society groups.
According to Rafsanjani, the meeting was staged to sensitise participants on the need for political integrity and the need to hold public office holders accountable as the 2023 elections approach.
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While speaking at the meeting, Rafsanjani and the coalition demanded the immediate resignation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over his unethical and illegal involvement in the 2023 presidential race.
CSOs sues for youths and women inclusion in politics
As part of the activities of the meeting, the coalition body advocated for youths and women inclusion in politics.
They cited the amount for nomination and expression of interest forms by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a challenge for youths and women.
"As the country prepares for the 2023 general elections, it is imperative to consider that such a huge cost for nomination forms could widen political exclusion.
"At a time when youth and women are disproportionately underrepresented in Nigerian politics, the expensive political process is double jeopardy of the financial burden and political exclusion for them.”
He noted that the political landscape ahead of the 2023 elections has been hijacked by politicians who are focused on money and citizens bear the brunt of bad governance.
"Money politics is at the heart of the general crisis of democracy and governance in Nigeria.
"This money politics makes a mockery of the efforts of all the stakeholders and public that campaigned vigorously to secure the signing of the Not Too Young to Run bill."
He, however, urged Nigerian citizens to hold public office holders to account to avoid the use of official resources for personal political ambition.
Also speaking at the event, BudgIT’s project manager, Tolutope Agunloye, said the town hall meeting was necessary to increase citizens' awareness on political accountability and also to sensitise the public on the consequences of vote trading.
One of the participants, Ibrahim Dansabo Danbawa, the convener of Keffi Concerned Group, said the town hall meeting was important because it has empowered them to learn how to scrutinise constituency projects.
2023: Using state resources for political campaigns totally unacceptable, says Rafsanjani
Similarly, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has warned against the use of state resources by public office holders for campaigns and other political party activities.
The group noted that the use of taxpayers’ funds and collective resources of Nigerians to fund personal political ambition is totally unacceptable.
The group said:
"We are living witnesses to how ministers and other top public office holders use state apparatus such as government jets, public cars as well as funds to run their personal ambitions which wrongfully does not create a level playing ground and is a bad omen for our democracy."