Following the release of time table by the independent national electoral commission (INEC) ahead of 2019 general elections, a coalition of civil society organisation for sustainable democracy in Nigeria on its state of the nation press conference has addressed the dangers associated with the recent high cost of nomination forms by different political parties in view of our democracy.
Speaking on behalf of the organisation at the event, Prince Danelson Momoh, National Coordinator/the convener, commended the efforts of the various media organisations in sustaining democracy in the Country.
According to him, recently, events leading to the 2019 general elections have being characterised with dismay, especially the exorbitant cost of nomination forms across political parties. The worst of it, that of the APC which proposed cost of nomination form conflicts its ideological posture of the change mantra.
“We are more concerned about the cost of nomination form of political Parties because it’s the first stage of electioneering activities. The ruling All progressives Congress, is expected to pilot the process of credible elections through its recently act of not too young to run.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Osinbajo should be aware that, the APC is in variation with the policy of the government of making lives more bearable to Nigerians. The government and the party should convince Nigerians that, the cost of its nomination forms is in consonance with its principle of anti-Corruption and encouraging the younger generation to participate in the electoral processes.
The group believes that for democracy to be sustained, it requires all-inclusiveness, avoidance of corrupt practices and friendly processes in all ramifications.
He further said INEC has also failed in its responsibility of regulating political parties . That INEC was supposed to set a limit for the cost of Political Parties nomination forms just as it limits the cost of electioneering expenditure.
The group further suggests that the APC should reduce the cost of its existing nomination cost of State Assembly from N550,000 , RepsN2,200,000, Senate N3,300,000, Governorship N5,500,000 and Presidential N27,700,000 to accommodate Nigerians who have not stolen public funds to participate in the primaries.
“We are also calling on the People’s Democratic Party, PDP to review downward the cost of its nomination form especially the Presidential nomination forms to enable young people participate,’ the convener noted.
Saying that if the APC must lead the campaign to save Nigeria Democracy, it must lead by example in allowing direct primaries at all level thereby introducing fairness to the electoral procedures in the Country.
The group appealed to President Buhari, Prof. Osinbajo and INEC to rise up in defence of democracy by not only ensuring compliance of political Parties of not selling Presidential nomination forms above N5, 000,000.00, so as to encourage even participation and enthronement of credible leaders in authority.
“No cost of nomination form for those seeking to contest the office of the President of Nigeria should be above N5, 000,000.00 as Nigeria is gradually returning to true democracy,’ the group added
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