Presidential primary: APC silent on zoning, Nigerians condemn N100m nomination fee

APC NEC

 

The All Progressives Congress says it will begin its sale of presidential, governorship, national and state assembly forms on Saturday.

The APC, which revealed this after its 11th National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, failed to disclose if it would be zoning its presidential ticket or not thereby leaving its forms open for all to buy.

However, its high nomination fees for aspirants generated angry reactions among Nigerians, with many of them saying they were symptomatic of the corrupt APC government.

The APC pegged its expression of interest and nomination forms for the presidential ticket at N100m.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, disclosed this shortly after the 11th NEC meeting of the APC.

According to Morka, the presidential nomination form would be sold for N70m while expression of interest forms would go for N30m.

He revealed that the House of Assembly expression of interest forms would go for N500,000 while the nomination form goes for N1.5m.

The nomination form for the House of Representatives would sell for N9m while the expression of interest form goes for N1m, making N10m in total.

Senatorial aspirants will purchase their expression of interest forms at N3m each and nomination forms at N17m each, making it N20m in total.

Governorship aspirants will have to part with N10m for the expression of interest forms and N40m for the nomination forms, making N50m in total.

The National Women Leader of the APC, Betta Edu, had said women would get free forms.

However, Morka said women were only entitled to free nomination forms but would pay for their expression of interest forms at every level.

He revealed that youths, whom he defined as individuals at the age of 40 and below, would purchase the expression of interest forms with a 40 per cent discount on the nomination form fees for each position.

“Now please note, and this is very important, that female aspirants and persons with disability will purchase our expression of interest forms for all the positions that they may be interested in while the nomination forms will be free without any costs to them.

“Now, our youth also got some very special consideration out of this meeting. And our youth are considered persons between the ages of 25 to 40. To purchase the expression of interest forms but with a discount of 50 per cent. On the nomination forms now, as usual, all of the payments are to be made to banks that will be designated by the party and published in a very short while from now,” Morka revealed.

On the schedule of activities from form sales up until the primaries, Morka said the presidential primary would hold from May 30 to May 31. This, therefore, allays fears that the party’s presidential primaries would clash with that of the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, whose primary has been slated for May 28 and May 29.

“The first item on our schedule is the notice of election that will be issued to the state chapters of our party. That activity will be carried out on April 22, 2022. The second item, the sale of forms at the APC national secretariat,  will commence on Saturday, April 23 to Friday, May 6, 2022. And the last day for the submission of completed forms and accompanying documents will be Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

“Screening of aspirants for the House of Assembly and for the governorship aspirants will be conducted on Thursday, May 12, 2022. Screening for aspirants to the House of Representatives and the Senate will be carried out on Friday, May 10, 2022. And for the presidential aspirants, that will come on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

“The publication of screening results will be done for the state assemblies and the governorship on Friday, May 13, 2022. For the House of Representatives and the Senate, it will be on Saturday, May 14, 2022. For the presidential aspirants, the publication of screening results will be on Sunday, May 15, 2022,” he said.

The party spokesman noted that screening appeals for the various offices would happen as follows: State assembly and governorship (Saturday, May 14 2022), House of Representatives and Senate (Tuesday, May 17, 2022), and presidential (Monday, May 23, 2022).

Morka continued “We will have our primaries for governorship on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. The primaries for the State House of Assembly will hold on Friday, May 28, 2022. The House of Representatives will hold on Sunday, May 22, 2022. For the Senate,  that has been scheduled to hold on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

“Our special convention for presidential primaries is bid to hold between Monday, May 30, to Wednesday, June 1, 2022.”

He noted that the National Executive Committee had devolved its powers to the National Working Committee for the next 90 days, giving the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, full powers over the primaries.

For the said period, the NWC would have the power to exercise the authority that was constitutionally assigned to the NEC on behalf of the party.

Morka explained, “The resolution has devolved the powers of NEC under Article 13(2)(3)(4)(5)(6) of our Constitution. But those powers of NEC in those provisions are now vested in the National Working Committee of the party. So in other words, the NWC of the party is authorised for 90 days to exercise the authority that is constitutionally assigned to the NEC on behalf of the party.”

However, like the PDP, the APC said nothing about the zoning of its Presidential ticket.

Nigerians condemn high cost of forms

But the high cost of forms was condemned by many Nigerians on social media including members of the ruling party.

They argued that it would prevent youths and disadvantaged groups from running for office.

A former media aide to ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, asked, “How can the APC set presidential nomination forms at N100m? Is that not encouraging corruption? Who, but the corrupt, can afford that? Is that why they pardoned Dariye and Nyame, so they can sponsor forms?”

In his contribution, journalist, Adejumo Kabir, tweeted, “Buhari criticised the N27.5m levy for the presidential nomination form in 2014, describing it as exorbitant. Today he leads a party selling form for N100m. Shame on him.”

Gold Isaiah tweeted, “The APC presidential nomination is pegged at N100m. I’m not surprised because all the money they have been borrowing is in their personal accounts. Highly corrupt regime!”

Uche Jegbefume tweeted, “N100m for presidential nomination form means absolutely nothing to the fantastically corrupt people in the APC. Only the electorate and masses are perpetually poor for their political gains.”

Abubakar Mona Usman tweeted, “N100m for APC presidential nomination form? This tells you how corrupt, wicked, and inhuman the government of the day is. May God save us in 2023.”

However, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria and founding member of the party, Osita Okechukwu, justified the high cost of forms, saying it would deter unserious aspirants.

Speaking in a phone interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, Okechukwu, also noted that the high fees were a result of a decision by Buhari who insisted that the party must fund itself.

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