N100m nomination fees not to fund APC with public fund -VON DG

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Osita Okechukwu, DG VON.

A foundation member of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Osita Okechukwu, said the N100million nomination forms for presidential aspirants was to maintain the axiom of Mr President not to fund the party with public funds.

The APC on Wednesday announced the fees to be paid by aspirants for various elective offices in the 2023 elections, with the presidential nomination form pegged at N100 million.

The N100million nomination fees has generated negative reactions from Nigerians.

But Okechukwu, also Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) said it was not out of order.

“May I humbly appeal to our compatriots, our membership and our teeming supporters to note that the N100 million and other nomination fees are to primarily maintain the axiom of Mr President not to use public funds to fund our great party the APC.

“Secondly, Buhari expects the candidates to mobilise nomination fees from their supporters as he did at various times in his four times bid for president.

“With nostalgia, one remembers when we opened bank portals for Mr President where in the first round, Hajiya Fati Koko, a Kebbi restaurant proprietor of blessed memory and Senator Ikechukwu Obiora topped the chart with N1million respectively.

“Indeed, an aspirant doesn’t need to personally own the N100million or N2million as the case maybe.

“Thirdly, we need the pardon of Nigerians, for APC as the foremost brand in the electoral landscape is not expected to charge the same N30million presidential nomination fees with His Excellency Rabiu Kwakwanso’s NNPP; just as Mercedes G-Jeep is not the same price with Innoson G-Jeep,” he said.

Asked about women and youths, Okechukwu explained that both had their concessions – no nomination fees, only expression of interest for women and 40 per cent discount for youths.

“We are reasonable enough to know that women and youths are our backbone.

“We should not forget as well that the nomination fees for the 1923 legislative council election, which is the first legislative election in Nigeria was pegged by Legislative Council Order under Lord Lugad at £10.

“This is almost hundred years ago, therefore only financial experts will evaluate today what is the worth of £10? Liberal democracy throughout history is never cheap.”(NAN)

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