A presidential hopeful under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) Abubakar Alkali, has announced his withdrawal from the race ahead of the primaries citing what he described as “the outrageous cost of the forms.”
Mr Alkali, who contested for the Senate, Sokoto central zone in 2011 under Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), however endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest for a second term in 2019.
He said as a local party man, he was moved to back the president after the APC adopted him as sole candidate.
Mr Alkali made this known in a press conference in Abuja on Friday. He called on his supporters to support the current administration in its job of delivering on democracy dividends to Nigerians
The Sokoto-born oil and gas consultant called on the leadership of APC to do something about the cost of nomination forms. He said it has deprived so many young aspirants with good ideas the opportunity to better the nation.
“The purpose of this press conference is that I am here to announce my withdrawal from the contest for the office of the president and the reasons for the withdrawal are not far-fetched.
“Majorly one of the reasons is that the APC has picked President Muhammadu Buhari has its sole consensus candidate for the 2019 general election, and as a loyal party member, I have to go by the rule and dictate of the party and that is the why I am aligning fully and totally with the position of our great party, and I fully support the decision to pick Mr. President as a consensus candidate of our great party.”
Speaking on the N45 million cost of the APC presidential nomination form, Mr Alkali, who said he founded APC Scotland chapter and became its chairman and also founded Buhari Support Group Scotland UK in 2014, declared that he and many others could not afford the cost.
“I think the cost of the form is outrageous and also do not depicts the ethics of our democracy. Actually, the cost of this form to me, broke sincere and genuine aspirants from aspiring for the office and are not in tandem with the maxim of the NotTooYoungToRun movement, and a lot of the youth who have sincere concern for this country cannot afford this outrageous cost.
“I appeal to our party, going forward to look at this issue very seriously,” he said.
The party through the spokesperson of its chairman, Simon Ebegbulem, has however defended the high cost of its nomination form.
He explained the mode of primaries it has adopted requires a lot of money and the party is not ready “to leave the funding of the party and activities to money bags who in turn control the party.”