The Alliance for Democracy, AD, has criticized Nigeria’s leading political parties for charging exorbitant rates for nomination forms into public offices.
The presidential nomination form of the main opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, is the highest at N27.5 million, followed by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s, at N22 million.
A former head of state, Muhammdu Buhari, said he took a bank loan to pay for his APC presidential form.
In a statement Monday, the AD said people seeking elective positions do not have to take loans to vie for such offices.
“The high cost of nomination forms will turn politics into business. The party believes that to ask for high fees for nomination forms is a creation of foundation of corruption,” the statement signed by the AD National Secretary, Rafiu Salau, said.
He said the high cost of nomination forms sold to prospective candidates can turn politics into business.
“Unfortunately, if occupying elective office requires selling of properties or acquiring loans, some of the members of the political class will see an elective position as a business and an opportunity to increase their wealth.”
Mr. Salau said against this background, the AD would give out its nomination and expression of interest forms free to all candidates and for all positions.
“Alliance for democracy doesn’t see politics as business. It is for the service of the people.
“Contesting for elective positions is to contribute to the development of the constituencies in particular and the nation in general.
“An elective office should not be portrayed as a business for generating personal revenue. In the light of this, the party will not follow the style of politics as business, which encourages demand for high fees for nomination forms.
“Therefore, Alliance for Democracy will give its nomination forms free to all Nigerians interested in serving the people. The elective positions are not for the candidates but the people,” he said.
He urged the electorate to approach the good leaders in their various constituencies to come out to serve them.
He said that the people should make their contributions to the best candidates and become volunteers to serve as party agents to protect their votes.