Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-political group, has criticised the high cost of nomination and expression of interest forms for presidential contenders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday.
According to the group, it would allow corruption to flourish in the country.
The APC had announced the sum of N100 million as cost for the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for the party’s presidential aspirants.
Mr. Sola Ebiseni, the Secretary-General of Afenifere, reacted to the development by saying it was a tactic to prevent ordinary Nigerians from participating in government activities.
“It is an insulting message to the pauperised Nigerians that they have no say in the governance of Nigeria or any part thereof. It is a direct affront to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and particularly the declaration in Section 14 (2) (b) that the participation of Nigerians in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
“How can the poor members of the party who are so blatantly discriminated against, on the basis of their situation in life, contrary to Section 42 of the constitution, participate in the governance of the country, particularly in a country where only a political party can field a candidate and no independent candidate allowed?
“Unfortunately, the two dominant parties are both guilty in this game of absurdity and conspiracy against the ordinary Nigerians in the access to their platforms for political participation,” the Afenifere spokesman stated.
He noted that for the PDP, it goes against the goals of their founding fathers, like Alex Ekwueme and Solomon Lar, adding, that the existing payment for participation is the pinnacle of political insensitivity and an open invitation to steal by anyone who could only rise to power through corruption.
The only path ahead for the country, Ebiseni claimed, was reorganization, which would bring every citizen to power.
Only the reconstruction of the country’s political architecture, which liberalizes citizens’ access to power, can prevent the country’s inevitable decline into oligarchy and anarchy, he said.
Felix Morka, the APC spokesman at the end of a closed-door meeting of the party’s NEC in Abuja on Tuesday, had revealed that members who want to run in the All Progressives Congress‘s (APC) presidential primaries must pay N100 million for nomination and expression of interest forms.
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