Since the party’s creation in 2014, the number of expressions of interest and nomination forms has steadily increased, raising concerns within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) about the high expense of running for office under its platform.
APC presidential and governorship forms cost N27.5 million and N5 million, respectively, in 2014 before the general elections of 2015. This information comes from Daily Trust. It rose to N45 million and N22.5 million in 2019. However, in 2023, it increased to N50 million and N100 million, respectively.
Party heavyweights, however, have pushed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership to reduce the amount of expression in the 2027 contest. They claim that while the party made billions of Naira from the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms prior to the 2023 elections, it never provided a breakdown of how the funds were used.
Salihu Mohammed Lukman, the former national vice chairman (North West) of the APC, bemoaned in a statement on Tuesday the rising expense of running for office inside the party.
He voiced concerns that the APC would charge N125 million for governorships and N250 million for presidential nomination and expression of interest forms by 2027.
It is his belief that the APC is “progressively losing the little democratic credentials,” which led Nigerians to believe that a progressive party would break away from it in 2015.
Felix Morka, the national publicity secretary for the APC, responded quickly, stating that “the issue of cost of forms for next elections is all speculations.”
In a phone conversation, Morka stated, “Just because N1 was requested doesn’t indicate N2 will be given the next time. It’s also possible that it will be evaluated from below.
Therefore, we can’t respond until the other party makes a decision. I will thus refrain from engaging in debate with Lukman about that, as all he is expressing is conjecture.
However, a professor of political sociology at the University of Abuja named Kari told Daily Trust that the APC has continued to charge exorbitant fees because it is the party in power.
In addition, he blamed it on the concerted commercialization of Nigerian politics and the actions of a few powerful individuals who have taken over the party.
Since the APC is in power, its fees have been the highest. The fundamental premise is that anyone running on an APC ticket has a good chance of winning. That is a supposition that might be accurate. It might not be accurate, he stated.
Kari said that the party leadership is “blocking the very essence of democracy, and that is exactly what is happening” if they can use this ongoing increase in the nomination cost to obstruct political participation. As a result, the system of exorbitant fees severely impedes democracy by preventing participation by those who cannot afford it.