Posted by Hamza Idris & Abbas Jimoh | 9 September 2018 | 1,257 times
This is the best of times for political parties in Nigeria, as many of them are cashing in on the rush by candidates for nomination forms and other million-naira offerings.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had since given the green light for all political parties to start selling forms for aspirants ahead of 2019 general elections. It was as if most political parties were waiting for this once-in-a-season opportunity, as many of them had following the clearance, sprung into action, held National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Working Committee (NWC) meetings and thereafter sponsored pages in national dailies detailing what each aspirant must pay to vie for any elective office.
While a large number of politicians holding various offices have not raised eyebrows over the huge amounts being charged by various parties, civil society activists, lawyers and some election monitors have condemned the charges, saying it was as if there was a “grand conspiracy” by the leading parties to favour those that have enough resources at their disposal at the detriment of those from outside the ring.
The addition of 23 new political parties on August 14 by INEC to the existing 68 registered ones bring the total to 91. Also, this will be the last round of registration of parties until after the general elections on 16 February 2019.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is asking for N25m from all those want to vie for the presidency under its platform. The party is also asking for N10m for gubernatorial aspirants; N5m for those going for the Senate; House of Representatives N2.5m and state house of assembly N1m.
For the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Presidential aspirants are expected to cough out N45m; governorship aspirants N22.5m; Senatorial aspirant N7m; House of Representatives, N3.85m and state house of assembly N850, 000.00.
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had pegged its presidential nomination forms at N12m while that of governorship at N6m. Others are Senate N4m, House of Representatives N1.5m, and House of Assembly N150,000.
Another opposition party, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) said the expression of interest and nomination forms for the presidential category is N12m and N6m for the governorship.
For Senate, according to the party, the fee is N2.5m; N1m for the House of Representatives and N450,000 for the state House of Assembly.
At present, the PDP has 16 aspirants that are practically campaigning, and most of them have obtained the forms. Assuming each of them paid N12m to get the presidential forms, it means the PDP will have over N1.9 billion from that category. And if only two people would buy the forms for gubernatorial election in the 29 states available for contest at N6m, it means the PDP will garner N348m.
The ‘Not Too Young to Run Movement’ has criticized the high cost of the forms for expression of interest and nomination for the 2019 general elections.
•Excerpted from a Daily Trust report
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