As 2023 Presidential election draws closer, aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC will have to wait till May to know who among them will become the party’s flag bearers.
Vantage News has also learnt the party would peg it’s presidential nomination form at N50m.
Some of the aspirants on the APC platform include: a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello; Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi and a former Governor of Abia State.
Senator Orji Kalu; and ex-Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha have also openly declared their interest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari whose second tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
Other aspirants rumoured to have presidential ambition in the party but have yet to declare their intention include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Amafiele.
Of all the aspirants, only Tinubu has been visiting different caucuses of the party, including its members in the National Assembly, soliciting to solicit their support.
Tinubu had also visited Buhari to inform him about his desire to succeed him in 2023.
It was gathered that the party had pencilled down May for the presidential primary, but would leave the exact date for the primary to be decided by the members of its National Working Committee that would emerge at its March 26 national convention in Abuja.
A party chieftain, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Next month is Ramadan so we are not considering April for the presidential primary or any of the primaries.
“The presidential primary should hold in May. And of course, the Presidential form will be going for nothing less than N50m. This is not final but this is what is being discussed and I am sure it will be approved.”
No reason was given for the expected increment in the nomination fee for the party.
In 2015, the APC charged its presidential aspirants N27.5m but raised it to N45m four years later.
Seven years ago, when the President Buhari was to run for the office, he openly lamented the high cost of the nomination form.
“I felt heavily sorry for myself because I don’t want to go and ask somebody to pay for my nomination forms, because I always try to pay myself, at least for the nomination. N27m is a big sum,”
The former military ruler had lamented that his efforts at making the leaders of the party reduced the nomination form felt on deaf ears.
But the then National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, rebuffed Buhari and said to him, “You better pick your form and keep a straight face; that means there is no excuse.”
“Thankfully I have a personal relationship with the manager of my bank in Kaduna and I told him that very soon the forms are coming, so, whether I am on red, or green or even black please honour it otherwise I may lose the nomination,” Buhari said while presenting his cheque for the form.
Four years later when the party raised the nomination fee to N45m, Buhari did not protest when he paid for the form.
Meanwhile, the APC had generated at least N300m from the sale of forms for aspirants seeking offices in the National Working Committee.
While about seven people bought chairmanship forms at the cost of N20m each, at least five people had purchased deputy national chairmanship forms for the cost of N10m each.
Forms for those seeking other positions in the National Working Committee were sold for N5m each. These positions include National secretary, deputy national secretary; the national vice chairmen of the six zones, national organising secretary, national legal adviser, national financial secretary, national welfare secretary, national treasurer, national publicity secretary, national auditor, national women leader, national youth leader and leader of persons living with disabilities.
According to the APC, all other positions of the National Executive Committee which are deputy positions, non-zonal and non-NWC would be sold at N1m.
All positions at the zonal level, except the National Vice-Chairman, which is also a member of NWC, would be sold at N500, 000.
These positions include deputy national financial secretary, deputy national legal adviser, deputy national treasurer, deputy welfare secretary, deputy national publicity secretary, deputy national auditor, deputy national women leader, deputy national youth leader, the zonal secretaries of the six zones, zonal youth leaders in the six zones, zonal organising secretaries across all zones and the six ex-officio members.
However, concessions were given for women and persons with disabilities who were given a 50 per cent discount.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vantage News Nigeria or any employee thereof.