Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, has described the N100 million presidential nomination fees of the All Progressive Congress as “dubious”, adding that it should be cancelled to save Nigeria’s democracy.
In a statement made available to THE WHISTLER on Thursday, he also called the opposition People’s Democratic party a whipping child with about N45 million price for its presidential form.
“The staggering sum of N100 million fixed by the APC NEC for its presidential nomination form has rightly sent shock waves of righteous indignation across the country.
“The vulgarity of this exercise lies not just in the abominable fee prescribed, but more in the party’s pretentious mantra of fighting corruption, using a well orchestrated and carefully oiled Hitler’s Goebel’s propagandist machinery of dubious pedigree.
“It is the more abhorrent when we realize that this is miles apart from (indeed more than double) the price fixed by the party’s whipping child, the opposition PDP, which has fixed its own at N40million (N5 million) for the nomination of interest; and N35 million for the nomination form,” he stated.
Taking a swipe at the APC, the learned silk said with the kind of money an aspirant is expected to pay, the party leadership is obviously introducing corruption into the democratic space by playing politics of the “mighty and wealthy.”
He said, “The problem with the tune, tone and template now set by the APC is that politics has become the exclusive preserve of the high, mighty and wealthy members of the society; and not for the poor. This has devalued democracy and institutional morals.
” The APC is now rapidly promoting plutocracy (government of the wealthy); gerontocracy (government of the oldest members of the society); and oligarchy (government of a select few).
If president Buhari and the APC are genuinely interested in widening and deepening the political space, they should immediately call for a NEC and NWC meeting of the APC to rescind and cancel this obnoxious policy of deliberate exclusion of critical segments of their ruling party.
“The price tag constitutes direct and brazen discrimination against other pauperized Nigerian members of the APC party, especially the youths and women, contrary to section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides that ‘participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”,” he stated.
Ozekhome also faulted the recently passed Electoral Act 2022, saying that some of its provisions have hugely monetized the electoral process.
“With the new amended Electoral Act of 2022 fixing N5 billion limit for presidential campaign as against the earlier N1billion under the 2010 Electoral Act, as amended, Nigeria’s politics and democracy have been completely moneticised with a swing towards anti-people capitalist merchantalism,” he stated.
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