April 21, 2022 Uncategorized 0

The APC is the governing party in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having succeeded in wrestling political power from the PDP. The party has ruled for two terms of almost eight years. As it were, the popularity or otherwise of the party at all levels of government will be subjected to franchise, which import voting at the forthcoming general elections next year.

In accordance with global practices of democracy everywhere, candidates for elections necessarily must collect and submit forms for political offices aspired either Presidential, Governorship, Senate, House of Representatives or States Houses of Assembly.

The “APC proposed purchase of forms fees” shows that the sum of N100,000,000 (one hundred million naira) is the fees for the Presidential Election, N50,000,000 (fifty million Naira) for the Governorship elections, N20,000,000 (twenty million Naira) for the Senate, N10,000,000 (ten million Naira) for the House of Representatives and N2,000,000 (two million Naira) for the State Houses of Assembly. This information has been published, as the ruling APC commences preparation for its primaries, to choose the candidates that will be elected at the party convention to fly the flag of the political party.

Through the two terms that the party has ruled, the citizens of this country have done, are still and will continue to do empirical assessment of its performance at all levels, including the economy, social and political impact of its two-term tenure duration on the lives and fortunes of its citizenry.

At the polls on election days, the voters will (hopefully) without inducements or coercion determine whether or not to reelect the candidates of the party or massively vote them out. This state of affairs is in accordance with democracy and democratic governance, which has been appropriately described as the government of the people, for the people and by the people.

The issue of the intention, wish or desire to contest and participate in these elections will necessarily commence with the purchase of forms. This can be likened to purchase of tickets prior to winning of a lottery. Here lies the obligatory necessity to reexamine and review downwards the published payment of N100,000,000 to N2,000,000 as the cost of “APC proposed purchase of forms fees.” Why will any political party in Nigeria, during these period of austerity charge such humongous amount and what truly will be the motivation?.

One obvious causative result and consequence is that only moneybags (irrespective of sources of wealth) will be able to purchase these forms. The flipside will be shutting out the good and cerebral citizens whose legitimate earnings through the years stifles their wishes aspire to elective office as morbid at the point of intention and never ever be able to participate.

The circus show and drama, which has been playing out on Live Television of a group of political jobbers and apologists claiming to collect forms for aspirants is both laughable and an insult to those among us who have the political sagacity and cerebral enough to see through the deception and the lack of truthful behaviour among the ruling class.

In these fees for collection of forms and the cost of participating in the primaries of the political party lies the answer to sewing the seed of corruption and amassment of stupendous wealth, legitimate and illegitimate as the driving force and motivation to rule.

Political events in the recent past have glaringly shown that for this country to renavigate the path of good governance, there must be a paradigm shift and the political space must be opened to those many among us who by training and experience are capable of leadership at all levels, to deliver the dividends of democracy.

It would be tantamount to a misnomer to describe a 62 year old man as a teenager learning to do things right. That would be a fallacy and a misnomer. The truth is that a 62 year old adult must be totally responsible for the consequences of his action. Here lies the allegory and the Oxymoron of our Nation State.

As a Nation State, we gained independence from our colonial masters since 1960. Each and everyone of us is cerebrally endowed to determine how well we have performed considering the enormous resources filtered away, which will include the largess of the oil boom.

As it is, the cost of purchase of forms published has shut out the participation by many among us whose legitimate earnings cannot fund such expenditure. Here lies the bedevilling travail willfully orchestrated into our democracy.

How do we encourage our womenfolks to participate? Where do we expect the youths to find the monies published? How do we intend to provide level playing fields for the majority of our people whose legitimate earnings makes it impossible to source these monies? How, how and how can we move out of this convoluted labyrinth of political mischief?

The plea as it were, is to review these abnormalities and encourage as many among us, as are willing and desirable to be able to collect forms. The consequences of inability to collect forms is impossibility to participate.

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine.

‘Kunle Uthman,
Barrister and Solicitor,
Lekki, Lagos.
20th April, 2022.

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