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N20m APC chairmanship form ridiculous – Lawyer

An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has described as ridiculous the N20m chairmanship nomination form fee charged by the...


An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has described as ridiculous the N20m chairmanship nomination form fee charged by the All Progressives Congress.


In a statement on Friday, the lawyer said the ruling party should have shown support for youths and women contesting party electoral seats by giving interested persons at least 75 per cent discount.


It was reported that ahead of its March 26 National Convention, the APC had said aspirants vying for the office of national chairman of the ruling party would pay N20m to obtain forms.


This is as the forms for deputy national chairman will sell for N10m while zonal chairmen and other officers would pay N5m to obtain nomination forms.


The party also said female aspirants and people with disabilities would pay 50 per cent of all the aforementioned rates.


But in the statement titled, ‘APC National Chairmanship 20M Nomination Form is Ridiculous’, Olajengbesi said the party should also have slashed the fee for youths as a form of encouragement and inclusion.


He said, “Political parties in Nigeria are clearly dishonest about their readiness to encourage, assimilate and give young men and women the much needed room and encouragement to participate in the political process, and this is underscored by the monetisation of the entire process from the picking of nomination or intent forms to the width of consultation and ‘compromises’ on the political trail. I would know.

 

“My long time friend, Mohammed Saidu Etsu, a founding member of the APC is a 35 years old man who indicated interest to be the National Chairman of the APC and I promised him I’d buy him his nomination form as a show of support for his ambition only for me to hear last night that the APC National Chairmanship Form goes for 20 million naira. I wondered at my promise immediately.


“I, however, gave him N5million naira towards that end and other well meaning friends and family raised the N15million in less than three hours, and I must say I am really proud of the demonstrated enthusiasm and support for his ambition by mutuals.


“I met Mohammed Saidu Etsu in the University of Abuja where about nine of us shared the same room. We all usually slept on the hard floor together before we bought a bed. I know Mohammed is a decent, hard working and cosmopolitan young man who will certainly make impact in our country. He was at my office after picking his form and I wish him well in his election.”

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