Since the party’s creation in 2014, the number of expressions of interest and nomination forms has steadily increased, raising concerns within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) about the high expense of running for office under its platform.
APC presidential and governorship forms cost N27.5 million and N5 million, respectively, in 2014 before the general elections of 2015. This information comes from Daily Trust. It rose to N45 million and N22.5 million in 2019. However, in 2023, it increased to N50 million and N100 million, respectively.
Party heavyweights, however, have pushed the ruling APC’s leadership to tone down the level of expression in the 2027 election, claiming that despite making billions of Naira from the sale of expressions of interest and nomination forms before the 2023 elections, the party has failed to give an account of how the money was spent.
Salihu Mohammed Lukman, the former national vice chairman (North West) of the APC, bemoaned in a statement on Tuesday the rising expense of running for office inside the party.
He voiced concerns that the APC would charge N125 million for governorships and N250 million for presidential nomination and expression of interest forms by 2027.
It is his belief that the APC is “progressively losing the little democratic credentials,” which led Nigerians to believe that a progressive party would break away from it in 2015.
Felix Morka, the national publicity secretary for the APC, responded quickly, stating that “the issue of cost of forms for next elections is all speculations.”
Morka, in a telephone chat, said, “That N1 was demanded doesn’t mean it will be N2 next time. It may also be that it may be reviewed downward.
“So we must wait until the party decides for us to react. So I am not going to join issues with Lukman on that because whatever he is saying is speculation.”
However, a professor of political sociology at the University of Abuja named Kari told Daily Trust that the APC has continued to charge exorbitant fees because it is the party in power.
In addition, he blamed it on the concerted commercialization of Nigerian politics and the actions of a few powerful individuals who have taken over the party.
“The fee for APC has been the highest because it is the ruling party. The underlying assumption is that anybody who gets APC ticket will likely get elected. It is an assumption that may be true. It may not be true,” he said.
Kari stated that if the party leadership can put obstacles on the way to political participation through this constant hiking of the fee for nomination, “you have blocked the very essence of democracy, and that is exactly what is happening. So the regime of high fees is a huge stumbling block on democracy because it stops those who cannot pay from participating.”
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