APC's N100m, N50m, N20m, N10m, N2m fees for Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms and Normalization of Vices in Nigeria
The Sunday Platform With Yemi Michael
The Sunday Platform With Yemi Michael
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Everyday in Nigeria and the World over, so many things happen that requires Public Affairs Analysts to comment on. Sometimes, it is difficult to pick a particular one because many of them are topical while some are more topical. And so, a commentator may have difficulty in knowing what to comment on. That was my situation this week.
One topical matter I decided to look at is APC’s outrageous fees for nominations and expression of interest forms.
The act was a contradiction of President Buhari's corruption campaign. While vices have been on the rise before the so-called Progressive Party came into Power, the party end up promoting all sorts of vices-brigandage/thuggery, corruption, propaganda and others.
At its 11th NEC-National Executive Committee Meeting held on 20 April at Transcorp Hotel, Abuja, the party took some decisions, one of which was the determination of fees for Aspirants in the 2023 Elections.
In attendance were: President Buhari, Vice President (VP), Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, House of Representatives Speaker, Senator Ahmad Lawan, Senate President, Senator Abdulahi Adamu, former Two-time Governor of Nasarawa State and current National Chairman of APC, Governors and others. Some of the decisions taken are: selection of standard-bearers through indirect primaries (choosing party hopefuls by delegates), ruling out of consensus and fees to be paid for nominations and expression of interest forms.
At the end of its meeting, the Party's NEC, its second highest leadership caucus ceded power to its NWC-National Working Committee for 90 Days after a motion moved by the Senate President and seconded by the Speaker.
According to the information available in Guardian Newspaper of 21 April 2022, a Presidential Aspirant is expected to pay a whopping N100m (N70m as nomination form, N30m for Expression of Interest form), Governorship Aspirant-N50m, Senatorial-N20m, House of Representatives Aspirant-N10m and State House of Assembly-N2m.
Guardian Newspaper Report that “the N100m for Presidential Aspirant is over 100 percent increase from the amount it sold the form for the same office in 2018 at N45m, and nearly 200 per cent from N27m it sold the form in 2014. The N100m fee is also more than double the fee of PDP-Peoples Democratic Party, the main opposition party which fixed the fee for its form at N40m.”
Felix Morka, APC’s Spokesman said that there will be 50% reduction in form fees for youths and women.
The NEC also revealed that it would begin selling the forms from 23 April until May 6, 2022.
Some of the aspirants who have declared their intentions are: Chief Chris Ngige, Minister for Labour and Productivity, VP Osinbajo, Yahaya Bello, Kogi State Governor, Orji Kalu, incumbent Senator and two-time Abia State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, former Senator and two-time Governor of Imo State, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Dave Umahi, Ebonyi State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation.
Likely Contenders who have not declared include: Senator Ibikunle Amosun, former two-time Governor, Ogun State, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
As expected, different sections of the society expressed their displeasure at the development. CISLAC-Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre said the fee was shameful and a mockery of Buhari’s ‘Not-too-Young-to-run Policy.’ HURIWA-Human Rights Writers’ Association said that anybody buying APC nomination form should be arrested and investigated. A Twitter User said “someone would buy party’s nomination form for N100m and we expect him not to embezzle money when he assumes office?
Another Twitter User reacted by saying that “N100m for APC Presidential Ticket? More reason why these people go to any length to win elections. After winning, all they first care about is recouping their investment?
Chief Chekwas Okorie, APC Chieftain while reacting said “I think the APC by this intend to weed out unserious aspirants because any person who seriously wants to contest the Presidency of this country will begin by his determination to participate in the primary election. Any Person who can cough out N100m has indicated some level of seriousness. It is just to make the primary election less chaotic. If You notice, the party has said that the Presidential Primary Election will be by indirect primary and they are looking at 7,800 Delegates at the Convention.”
He went further by saying that “So to make it less chaotic, they begin to determine the seriousness from that angle. There could be other hurdles to prune down the number to a manageable proportion. The level of expression being shown by members in the Presidency is unimaginable. The aspirations from the South-East alone is in legion. It is not a bad thing to use the fees to determine those that are serious.”
This is wrong, Sir. The fees is so outrageous. It is not the only and effective ways to reduce and know serious aspirants. INEC can conduct a debate for them to know the competent ones. Questions can be asked from their people to know the well-meaning ones. Civil Society Groups, the Intelligentsia, Academic Community can interview them and check their track records. The wheat can be separated from the chaff this way.
Some Facts and Figures
According to Guardian Newspaper, the N100m set by APC for aspirants is far higher than the four-year salaries of President Buhari and his VP.
The Annual salary of Mr. President is N14.058m, N1.171m Monthly. According to a breakdown by RMAFC-Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, it means that the N100m is the President’s salary for about 85 Months or 7 Years, 1 Month.
The Annual salary of the VP is N12.126m (N1.01m Monthly). The N100m is the VP’s salary for 99 Months or Eight Years and Three Month. Who can legally afford N100m for a nomination form?
Here is the implication of the outrageous fees. Many People, young and old know that one of the easiest ways to make big money in Nigeria is to participate in politics because they saw and heard about the obscene amount of money people in Government collect as salaries and allowances. Many Government Officials have not made meaningful contributions to governance despite the huge sums of money being wasted on them.
Public Money is being wasted on different officials in the three arms of government. Since people know they can make big money, all they will do is to find the money to contest whichever way and if fortunate to win, they will first recoup the money spent and likely steal more.
One of the implications of the sickening and corrupting monetization of politics in Nigeria is that many people who genuinely want to serve do not have the kind of outrageous money needed to win elections and so the public may never get to benefit from their knowledge.
Another implication is that many young ones have seen and heard about how politicians stole huge government money and get away with it. We have seen and heard of illegal money politicians exchanged in government. Those that were caught and ‘prosecuted’ were given punishments that were so incommensurate with their offenses. Nigeria is where government officials stole billions of naira and they were pardoned by the state. What this means is that it pays to be corrupt. Frankly, APC and PDP are encouraging corruption. They are actually setting bad examples. What the parties did was that they normalized corruption. Small wonder why moral decadence have increased from 2015 when APC took over power. So much for bad example!
It is not just Government Officials, Politicians that have worsened misconduct in Nigeria. Parents/Guardians have also exacerbated it.
It is not everybody that is in support of this bastardization of things. It is only a matter of time before people felt they have had enough!
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