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N20m for party application form BY Abiodun Ladepo


Thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000!) or N20 million for application form to be chairman of any political party in the world is obscene? That is what Nigeria’s ruling political party, the All Progressives Congress, announced on Tuesday for anyone interested in becoming its national chairman.

It is insensitive.

It is all shades of wrong.

I know the intent is to raise funds for the party and discourage unserious jokesters from competing and crowding the field.

The unintended consequences however are:

  1. Capable people without the financial wherewithal are boxed out or forced to seek financial support from potential candidates that will seek to control the party apparatuses to the exclusion of other candidates, engendering endless intra-party crises.

  2. Poor people or marginally wealthy people are discouraged from participatory and representational politics.

3. . Successful candidates go on to seek recovery of their “investment” by accepting bribes from future candidates to bend elections in their favour.

4. It makes politics elitist.

5. It makes the removal of such party officials…for whatever reason(s)…seem unfair, and therefore difficult.

This N20 million that you see here is just for the national chairman of the APC —the form goes down in cost as you descend the positions down to state and local government levels. If you want to control your local government chairperson, buy him/her the application form—N2 million or so.

Why do you think Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was talking condescendingly to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State the way he did the other day? Why do you think Governor Seyi Makinde is able to seize control of the Peoples Democratic Party and all of its officials? Why do you think the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi had control of the party EXCO even for a while after his death?

Do you think it’s on ideological beliefs? I am not venting o. I honestly don’t know the solution. I can’t even say it is a problem.

It’s almost like a conundrum. The party must be run somehow. Those who have floated political parties like Tope Fasua and Omoyele Sowore may be able to explain how best to do it without going this route.

I guarantee you the PDP form will be just as expensive if not more. The PDP form in 2015, if my memory serves me well, was also an outrageous cost, perhaps even already N20 million AS OF THAT TIME.