The Buhari Youth Organisation (BYO), Lagos State chapter, has alleged that the high fees being demanded by the ruling party from aspirants is a “disenfranchisement weapon” for genuine aspirants, especially youths.
In a statement jointly issued by Mr. Abdulwaheed Odunuga and Mr Adekunle Aderibigbe, the State Coordinator and General Secretary of the group respectively, they urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to review the nomination and expression of interest fees for aspirants contesting the 2019 general elections.
“We are calling for a prompt review of the high cost for nomination and expression of interest forms in other not to slam the doors at competent candidates who would not be able to afford the fees.
“This cost will subject such candidates to the mercy of looters or corrupt persons who will make them stooges while dictating the affairs for such candidates, ’’ the group said.
According to the group, the reputation built by President Muhammadu Buhari has drawn the attention of various world leaders to the country.
It said many supporters of the president were willing to donate to ensure he was returned as the president till 2023.
The group, however, said it would be difficult to replicate the gesture for other candidates who may not be able to raise such funds by crowdfunding within the limited time.
“We are advocates of good governance and a government that belongs to everybody and nobody.
“We also believe APC is a listening progressive party that wants every Nigerian to have equal access and rights to opportunities.
“The prompt review for fair fees will enable active participation of more members in the party’s success in the 2019 general elections,’’ the group said.
The APC’s National Working Committee had proposed N55 million as the cost of the nomination and expression of interest forms for the office of President.
This is higher than the N12 million being charged by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
For the Senate, APC aspirants will pay N 8.5 million as against the N3.5 million of that of the PDP for the same seat.
While for the House of Representatives, APC demands N3.8 million from its aspirants, PDP is charging N1.5 million.
APC governorship aspirants would cough out N22.5 million as against the N6 million charged by the PDP.
Aspirants for the state Houses of Assembly elections in APC would pay N 1.1million as against PDP’s N600, 000.