APC Will Charge Presidential Candidates 100 Million To Run for Office

Concerns have risen over how expensive the forms are and experts have said that the fee goes against the Not Too Young To Run bill President Buhari signed in 2018 that allowed for youths to take up offices.

Editor’s note: Our latest issue which explores APC and the Dilemmas of a Ruling Party is now available. Order here

Yesterday in Abuja, at its National Executive Committee meeting, the All Progressives Congress (APC), released its primary elections timetable for various offices ahead of the 2023 Nigerian elections. It set its presidential primaries for May 30-31. The primaries for governors, state house assembly, national house of representatives and the senate are slated to run from May 18-24.

According to APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), the fee for the presidential nomination form is N100 million: N30 million for expression of interest and N70 million for nomination. This, according to the Nigerian Guardian, is over 100 per cent more than the N45 million paid in 2018 and nearly 200 per cent more than the N27 million paid in 2014. The N100 million fee is also more than double that of the main opposition, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which charges N40 million for a presidential nomination form.

APC party candidates running for the governorship primaries will pay N50 million for both expression of interest and nomination forms. Senate candidates will pay a sum of N20 million, the House of Representatives candidates will pay N10 million, and the State House of Assembly will pay N2 million, according to the NWC’s schedule of fees. Also, women and persons with disability will be asked to pay for the expression of interest forms but will get the nomination forms for free for any position while youths—people under 35 years of age—will pay for the expression of interest forms and receive a 40 per cent discount for any position. The party aims to begin selling the forms from April 23 until May 6, 2022.

Candidates that have declared their intention to run for the presidency under APC include: the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello; the chief whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu; the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige; the former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; APC’s national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; and Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi.

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has argued that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should investigate the source of wealth of any presidential candidate who pays the APC nomination fee. According to the group, ‘Anyone who buys the nomination form at such a scandalous amount should be arrested and handed over to law enforcement agencies such as EFCC or ICPC or the Nigeria Police Force for investigation on the source of the money.’

The executive director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), another human rights group, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, also said:

It is shameful that the ruling party, that the president belongs to, has endorsed the expression of interest and nomination forms for its presidential ticket at N100 million. This is especially at a time when many have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of youth participation in partisan politics and called for deliberate measures to create the enabling environment for wider inclusion and active participation of women and youths in politics and governance of the country… A key question to ask is ‘who can legally afford N100 million for a presidential ambition?’

Concerns have arisen over how expensive the forms are and experts have said that the fee goes against the Not Too Young To Run bill President Buhari signed in 2018 that allowed for youths to take up offices. According to a breakdown by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, the N100 million set by the APC is the seven-year and the eight-year cumulative salaries of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osibajo which, respectively, are estimated at N14.058 million and N12.126 million yearly

Recommended Reading

Here are some Republic articles to read for more context on APC and political parties in Nigeria:

The views, thoughts, and opinions published in The Republic belong solely to the author and are not necessarily the views of The Republic or its editors. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editors by writing to [email protected].