Former special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla has appealed to the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to shut its doors against genuine aspirants who have not helped themselves to public funds or are sponsored by wealthy people.
In a statement, Obono-Obla said, “Genuine Aspirants that have not helped themselves to public funds or been sponsored by wealthy people cannot afford to buy nomination forms with such exorbitant and astronomical amounts.
“We cannot afford as a social democratic party founded on the ideals of social justice, a transparent and credible electoral system and genuine democracy shut its door to popular but poor aspirants”.
Obono-Obla described the astronomical amount of N100m for presidential aspirants as a ‘mercantile and bourgeois approach’, saying it will fuel and facilitate corruption, classify and monetize the political process.”
He noted that even in the USA, the United Kingdom, Australia and India, aspirants are not required to pay to buy nomination forms with such huge amounts of money.
He said if the conditions prevailing in Nigeria prevail in hose countries, only millionaires and billionaires would be in the category of people who can contest elections.
“When such huge amounts of money are what candidates are required to pay then we should expect to be entitled to contest, we should not be surprised when the process is hijacked by money launderers, criminal syndicates and terrorists that want to sponsor candidates to use them to destabilize the country after they get into the office to foist their nefarious agenda on society.
“APC should, as a matter of urgency, drastically scale down the fees and democratise and de-classify its processes so that genuine and popular candidates that have ideas that can change the country get into leadership”.