Some ‘constituents’ in Biu/Bayo/Shani Federal Constituency of Borno State have procured the N10 million expression of interest and nomination form for Muktar Betara to recontest for his House of Representatives seat.
The group, led by the former Deputy Governor of Borno State, Adamu Shettima, ‘procured’ the form at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday.
Mr Betara is the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation.
Speaking to journalists, Mr Shettima said no one will procure the same form, hence, there is a possibility that Mr Betara will get the APC ticket unopposed.
The former deputy governor said some constituents contributed as low as N20 towards the procurement of the form.
“We all contributed money to raise the N10 million to buy the form. He is not even aware that we bought the form for him,” Mr Shettima said.
“We will present the form to him at our own local government. Our people want him back. He has done a lot in human capital development, road development and several infrastructures back home.
“His support is massive. In fact, if the election is held tomorrow, he would sweep the poll. As we speak he has no opposition right now. Nobody is taking the seat from him.”
Buying of nomination forms by ‘supporters’ has become thee latest trend in the political space. In most cases, it is difficult or impossible to identify the supporters who allegedly contributed the money amid allegations that it is the candidates who buy the forms themselves through the backdoor.
On Wednesday, a group bought N100 million presidential form for the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
Despite the huge prices set by the ruling party, this has not stopped supporters and fans from ‘buying’ forms for their favourites.
Adamu Abdullahi, the chairman of the ruling party, had justified the exorbitant rate with the argument that “If a presidential aspirant cannot mobilise at least ten thousand supporters to raise such amount that person is not a serious contestant.”
Several Nigerians, including the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, have criticised the exorbitant price.
Mr Lamido, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in a 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.