2023 APC General Election’s Rat Race
Written by Aishat on April 28, 2022
It is no longer news that the cost of obtaining the primaries form/ticket of the ruling party in Nigeria, All Progressive Congress (APC) which is also the party of the current president of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari is a jaw- dropping sum of N100, 000,000.00.
It is no surprise that many Nigerians are still in utter disbelief and dismay. While the bans on social media since this news made its way out persists, with divergent opinions making waves, the only question that had lingered is how does a public or civil servant in a country with a minimum wage of N30,000 conveniently or inconveniently afford the whopping sum of N100, 000,000.00?
This calls for serious concerns, and has raised eyebrows as to misplaced priorities amongst people with intentions to someday lead our beloved Nigeria. It is also disheartening that Nigeria is still actively competing to top the chart of the world’s “poverty capital”. Such an irony!
Retrospectively, taking the 2015 and 2019 general elections as a case study, In 2015, the All Progressive Congress (APC) announced the cost of the primaries form to be 27.5million Naira which was the price the extant President of Nigeria had been ‘fortunate’ to purchase. In 2019, the hike in the cost of Apc’s Presidential ticket took a dramatic increase to N45,000,000.00.
Candidates who have signified interest before the announcement of the cost of the party’s ticket are beginning to reconsider. Others, who without judgment haven’t been very transparent, honest in the course of their duty as public or civil servants in the past or even presently are currently scheming and devising means to get a front- liner who they can use indirectly to conveniently purchase the forms, ask questions as how they can afford it. How convenient for these aspirants! Ironically, purchasing the N100, 000,000.00 APC presidential primaries ticket is not even a guarantee to emerging as the party’s flag bearer. It is obvious that the infamous term that politics is a dirty game should be taken literally.
It is not clear what the essence of passing the so called ‘Not-too-young-to-rule’ bill into law was for because whatever purpose it was created was defeated from the day it was passed. How is it expected that a young Nigerian who lives and works in a country with a minimum wage of N30,000.00 would be able to ever conveniently or inconveniently afford a party’s presidential primaries ticket of N100,000,000.00 even when it isn’t a guarantee of emerging flag bearer of this party? Isn’t it also being unrealistic to expect that a person who expends N100, 000,000.00 for a Party’s primaries ticket (which is less the other cost expendable e.g. publicity, printing of posters and billboards in contesting in an election) is solely running or contesting for the purpose of serving the masses who put him there? I think not.
What should be considered immaterial is the damage control approach and speech given by the spokesman of APC, Felix Morka who said that women and people with disabilities are to purchase of interest forms while nomination form is free for them. Youths between the ages 25-40 are to purchase the expression of interest and nomination forms with 50% discount each. On the other hand, the main opposition party, PDP has set the cost of their presidential primaries form/ticket for 40million Naira.
It is still not lucid why the All Progressive Congress prefers to tow this path. Perhaps, it’s a strategy to draw so much attention thereby creating awareness and free publicity for the candidate that eventually emerges as flag bearer. This may in their opinion save cost and may not necessarily drill holes in their already fat pockets or perhaps, they’re trying to save themselves the stress, rigor and mess from a lot of people having access to this ticket if it were reasonably affordable. As the famous phrase from George Orwell’s Animal Farm goes, ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others’, hence you may think yourself affluent, wealthy or rich but are you affluent, wealthy or rich enough to gamble a whooping sum of N100, 000,000.00 on probability basis that you may or may not emerge as the party’s flag bearer. To what end? To think that the standard statutory salary of the president of Nigeria is 14million Naira, no investment banker or financial advisor will ever advice to throw that whooping sum on merely probabilities. I’ll predict that their advice will be to invest such whooping sum on juicy stocks or any other stock with prospect that would definitely yield good returns. Additionally, what manner of investment would make you pay that huge sum to apply for a job that does not pay you quarter of the amount you spent to apply for it on a monthly basis..It’s giving dubious, fishy and unconscionable.
Now, the biggest question is what price should the masses be expected to pay post -2023 presidential elections should the flag bearer of the APC party emerge as Nigeria’s president?