- The high fees for nomination and expression of interest forms fixed by the major political parties has been faulted by Ehiyame Osezua
- The APC fixed a total of N45 million as fee for both forms for its presidential aspirants, while PDP fixed a total of N12 million for its presidential forms
- He called for a downward review of cost of the forms, saying that young people could not afford them at their present rates
An Associate Professor, Ehiyame Osezua, on Thursday, September 6, decried the high fees for nomination and expression of interest forms fixed by the major political parties in the country.
Osezua, a lecturer in the Public Administration Department, University of Ilorin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the high cost of the forms contradicted the ideal of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act.
Recall that the All Progressives Congress (APC) fixed a total of N45 million as fee for both forms for its presidential aspirants, and N22.5 million for governorship aspirants. House of Assembly aspirants would pay N850,000; aspirants into House of Representatives would pay N3.8 million and the Senate N7 million.
For the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), aspirants would pay a total of N12 million for its presidential nomination and expression of interest forms; N6 million for governorship forms; N4 million for Senate; N1.5 million for House of Representatives and N600,000 for House of Assembly.
In a move designed to widen representation, the APC has offered half price discount for women and the disabled, while the PDP has made forms free for female candidates.
The PDP also claimed that it slashed the fee for nomination forms for House of Representatives by N1 million to arrive at the fixed amount in keeping with its promise to enhance the inclusion of young persons in the democratic process.
Osezua called for a downward review of cost of the forms, saying that young people could not afford them at their present rates.
He said that the motive of the Not-too-Young -to-Run Act is to enable young people to be able to actively participate in the elections as contestants.
“Many young persons, if not all of them, will not be able to buy the forms as high as N10 million in this country today.
“Meanwhile, critics of the Act are being justified by the exorbitant rates the forms are being sold,” Osezua said.
The don said that purpose of the Act may not be realised in parties with such huge amounts, if the cost of the forms remain as they are.
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Osezua urged Nigerians who fall into the class of young people to also speak out against any act tantamount to marginalising their participation in seeking elective positions.
“Political parties ought to implement policies that encourage inclusiveness and not acts that stylishly exclude some people,’’ he said.
NAIJ.com previously reported that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked its aspirants for state assemblies, who are unable to buy nomination forms in their states, to go to the national secretariat of the party.
The party, in a statement by its acting national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, said it had received complaints from some states assembly aspirants that they were unable to access nomination forms.
The statement reads in part: “With the commencement of the All Progressives Congress nomination processes for the 2019 general elections, we have received complaints from some state Houses of Assembly aspirants over inability to collect expression of interest and nomination forms in their states."
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