2019: APC Nomination Fees Is Too High – INEC Commissioner Tells Buhari

A former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States, Professor Lai Olurode on Sunday lamented that majority of young aspirants cannot afford the nomination fees of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Recalled that the APC had pegged the cost of nomination and expression of interest forms for the Presidency at N45 million while the cost of nomination and expression of interest forms for the gubernatorial seat is at the rate of N22.5 million.

For a senatorial ticket, an aspirant will pay N1m for the expression of interest form and N6m for a nomination form, while those jostling for House of Representatives will pay N3.85m, including N350,000 for the expression of interest form and N3.5m for the nomination form. A House of Assembly aspirant will pay N850,000, including N100,000 for the expression of interest form and N750,000 for the nomination form.

But, Olurode, while reacting, lamented that “majority of the aspiring Nigerian youths will not afford the “huge amount of money” placed on nomination forms by leading political parties in Nigeria” including the ruling APC.

The Professor of Sociology while speaking at the 2018 Annual Conference of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit, held at the University of Lagos, urged youths not to be deterred but remain resolute to take over the mantle of leadership from the present generation of leaders.

Olurode, a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos while calling for the involvement of youth in leadership and governance of the country, also urged political parties to “make the #NotTooYoungToRun drive effective in the 2019 general elections”.

He then specifically urged the leadership of the ruling APC and President Muhammadu Buhari to find ways of reducing the cost of the party’s nomination forms.

He said, “Governance has nothing to do with age, everybody should aspire for it.

“Take for example the huge amount of money APC placed on nomination forms. I expect the President (Muhammadu Buhari) to condemn this act as it is not a good omen for the country”.

Deputy Director of Programmes, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Alhaji AbdurRasak Abdssalam while speaking, urged the youth in the country to gear up for leadership positions.

Abdssalam who spoke on the theme, “Youth Leadership and Governance”, expressed concerns over the readiness of Nigerian youths to take up the challenges.

He said, “The issue is that some of the youths of today are also corrupt to take up from the elders. They are ill-prepared to face the challenges, but going forward, Nigerian youth have to possess the quality in academic excellence, professional competence, hardworking and spiritual guidance to excel”.

Amir (President) of MSSN Lagos, Alhaji (Dr) Saheed Ashafa, advocated that one of the ways to achieve youth leadership was through a review of Nigeria’s Constitution to define the age range of youth.

He said this would help checkmate the political actors, who had in recent times, exploited the gap in the constitution.

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