The All Progressives Congress (APC) has responded to the ongoing debate over the high costs of its nomination forms, stating that “politics is all about money.” Nze Chidi Duru, the Deputy National Organising Secretary of the party, emphasized that those aspiring to contest on the APC platform must be prepared to invest in the expression of interest and nomination forms.
Since its establishment in 2013 and subsequent rise to power in 2015, the APC has been known for imposing substantial charges on these forms. Notably 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed concern about the costs and mentioned taking a loan to acquire them.
With the upcoming by-elections on February 3, 2024, the APC has faced criticism for setting high fees: N20 million for senatorial aspirants, N10 million for House of Representatives, and N2 million for state assembly per aspirant. The Edo governorship election forms are priced at N50 million, and for the 2023 presidential poll, the party collected N100 million from aspirants in 2022.
The backlash intensified, particularly as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has significantly lower fees for its by-election forms. The PDP has set the expression of interest and nomination forms at N3.5 million, N2.5 million, and N600,000 for Senate, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly, respectively.
In defense, APC’s Deputy National Organising Secretary, Duru, urged members and Nigerians to commend the APC National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, for maintaining the 2022 rates amid inflation. He underscored the financial demands inherent in politics, stating, “Politics is all about money; it is all about expenses. If you need to be in it, you should be able to buy the forms and be able to canvass your ideas and philosophies before the electorate.”
Duru added, “APC has shown greater understanding than any other political party in Nigeria that they did not add one kobo on top of the fee charged in the 2022 primaries