The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, said his party decided to price its presidential nomination form at N100 million because of the importance of the office of the Nigerian president.
The APC at a meeting of its National Executive Committee attended by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja announced the fees for its expression of interest and nomination forms for the 2023 General Elections.
The fee of N100 million for presidential aspirants is inclusive of N30 million for the expression of interest form and N70 million for the nomination form.
The party also fixed N50 million for governorship aspirants, N20 million and N10 million for senatorial and House of Representatives aspirants respectively, and N2 million for state House of Assembly aspirants.
However, aspirants under 40 years will get a 50 per cent discount on the fees while women and persons living with disabilities will pay only for the expression of interest forms.
Nigerians, especially on social media, were swift in condemning the fees, describing them as exorbitant and exclusionary.
Also criticising the APC leadership for the exorbitant fees, the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, in his recent Ramadan Tafsir, said a country like Nigeria with a high rate of poverty, it is out of place to peg a contest form at N100 million for the presidential ticket of a party.
But Mr Adamu in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service on Wednesday said those criticising the APC for the amount are members of the opposition who are trying to give the ruling party a bad name to hang it.
Mr Adamu said the contest for the Nigerian presidency is not a contest of the motor park union.
“If a presidential aspirant cannot mobilise at least ten thousand supporters to raise such amount that person is not a serious contestant.,” Mr Adamu said.
Mr Adamu said when you’re talking of the presidency of the country, it should not be mistaken with the position of an emir of a town.
“We are talking about the president of Nigeria, not the emir of your town. Now when the emir of your town dies the person seeking to replace him will spend more than N100 million for just one emirate, Mr Adamu said.
Apart from this, there are so many leadership positions that will cost more than 100 million before he is included, he added.
Mr Adamu also said in America if someone is contesting to be the president, his supporters will rally around states and contribute money for him to support his candidacy as he can also get a surplus from the donation.
“For example, someone who is seeking to be president of Nigeria asked 10000 of his supporters each to contribute N10,000 how much will that be. If he lacked supporters to contribute he didn’t deserve to contest, I didn’t want to belittle you because the president of Nigeria is not the chairman of your village motor park.
“If you want to kill a dog you will give him a bad name, there is nothing to compare between seeking to be Nigeria’s president and corruption using the cost of the form.
“If you can not participate, there is no compulsion, if you don’t have N100m you have no business with becoming president. Tell me which country will not fix reasonable numbers to contest the position of the president? No country that practices democracy like ours will not fix the amount to around N100m. In fact, how much is N100m?
“Even in the recent France election, how much did Macron pay? How much did Le pen pay to participate? How much did president Joe Biden pay in America? How much did former President Donald Trump Pay? This is just an attempt to dent our image, it is the opposition party that is doing that. It will not change our minds or reduce the cost of the nomination form. Anyone that wants to participate let him participate, that is the amount. When I was seeking to be the National Chairman of APC I paid N20 million, and other aspirants paid the same.
“Our party has principles, if you can follow the guidelines you can participate.
“And another thing is our party is the ruling party, if we fix the amount less, the same opposition can sponsor some people to come and participate before you know court cases will arise everywhere. Let’s see if any devil can pay N100m to sponsor some, he said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To place an advert here . Call Willie - +2348098788999