Senior lawyer admonishes APC to review cost of nomination forms

Ogunsakin Mustapha
5 Min Read

A Senior lawyer, Chief Kunle Uthman on Wednesday called on the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) to review downwards the exorbitant cost of purchasing expression of interest and nomination forms for aspirants that want to seek elective post under the umbrella of the party.

Earlier in the week, the party had announced the cost of nomination forms as follows: N100,000,000 million for the Presidential Election aspirants, N50 million for the Governorship elections aspirants, N20 million for the Senate, N10 million for the House of Representatives and N2 million  for the State Houses of Assembly. 

Reacting to the cost, Chief Uthman, a member of the Body of Benchers, the highest regulating body for legal practitioners in Nigeria asked: “Why will any political party in Nigeria, during this period of austerity charge such a humongous amount and what truly will be the motivation?

The senior lawyer said that an  obvious consequence of the high price for the nomination forms is that only moneybags, irrespective of sources of wealth, will be able to purchase these forms. The flipside will be shutting out the good and cerebral citizens whose legitimate earnings through the years stifles their wishes to aspire to elective office as morbid at the point of intention and never ever be able to participate. 

“The circus show and drama, which has been playing out on Live Television of a group of political jobbers and apologists claiming to collect forms for aspirants is both laughable and an insult to those among us who have the political sagacity and cerebral enough to see through the deception and the lack of truthful behaviour among the ruling class”, he said.

He said further: “In these fees for collection of forms and the cost of participating in the primaries of the political party lies the answer to sowing the seed of corruption and amassing of stupendous wealth, legitimate and illegitimate as the driving force and motivation to rule;

Political events in the recent past have glaringly shown that for this country to renavigate the path of good governance, there must be a paradigm shift and the political space must be opened to those many among us who by training and experience are capable of leadership at all levels, to deliver the dividends of democracy;

It would be tantamount to a misnomer to describe a 62 year old man as a teenager learning to do things right. That would be a fallacy and a misnomer. The truth is that a 62 year old adult must be totally responsible for the consequences of his action. Here lies the allegory and the Oxymoron of our Nation State;

As a Nation, we gained independence from our colonial masters in 1960. Each and everyone of us is cerebrally endowed to determine how well we have performed considering the enormous resources frittered away, which will include the largess of the oil boom; 

As it is, the cost of purchase of forms published has shut out the participation by many among us whose legitimate earnings cannot fund such expenditure. Here lies the bedevilling travail willfully orchestrated into our democracy; 

How do we encourage our womenfolk to participate? Where do we expect the youths to find the money published? How do we intend to provide level playing fields for the majority of our people whose legitimate earnings make it impossible to source these monies? How, how and how can we move out of this convoluted labyrinth of political mischief?

The plea therefore is to review these abnormalities and encourage as many Nigerians that are willing and desirous to be able to collect the forms. The consequences of inability to collect forms is impossibility to participate”, he concluded. 

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