The All Progressives Congress APC, has come under knocks from opposition parties and other civil society organisations over the high cost of the party’s nomination forms.
The APC had on Tuesday stated that a presidential aspirant would pay N45m for its expression of interest and nominations forms; a governorship aspirant would pay N22.5m; a senatorial aspirant, N7m; House of Representatives, N3.85m; and state assemblies, N850, 000.
Commenting on the high cost of nomination forms, the Peoples Democratic Party condemned the APC, calling it a party of looters.
It said for a party that charged so little four years ago to turn around three years later and ask its members to bring so much to pick nomination forms, was “horrible”.
National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, asked Nigerians to notice the sudden change in the fortune of the APC.
He said, “When we heard about the nomination fees, we all thought it was a lie or joke. But events have shown that the fees are real and the APC is indeed a party of deceit.
“How do you want someone who claimed not to have touched N14m three years ago to now have such huge sum of money when he claimed he came to power to serve?
“We have now seen that instead of serving Nigerians, the APC and its members have come to serve themselves and their cronies.
“The amount of money it is asking its members and even Nigerians interested in elective offices to bring is horrible and criminal.
“Such action has shown the APC as a party of a few people who have either looted funds meant for the entire Nigerians or are still looting.
“Nigerians should resist it by running away from the party and its agents. In the next four years, it will definitely ask Nigerians to pay like N100m for presidential nomination fees.”
Secondus also doubted the claim that a group of people had purchased the forms for President Muhammadu Buhari.
On its part, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement CNM, led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, allege that President Buhari deceived Nigerians in a similar manner during the build-up to the presidential primary of the APC when he claimed that he took a loan of N27.5m to purchase the APC forms.
Speaking in a chat with newsmen, the Spokesman for the CNM, Mr Akin Osuntokun, insisted the APC was not committed to fighting corruption.
He said, “Any party that claims to fight corruption needs to deemphasise the idea of splashing money around or placing fees ranging from N45 to N50m to purchase forms. If your aim is to weed out pretenders from the list of aspirants, there are other ways to do that. It doesn’t have to be monetary.
“This is nothing but hypocrisy on the part of the APC. The President had said in 2014 that he obtained a bank loan in order to purchase the form. How did he pay it back? Today, they claim some youths purchased the forms but this is nothing but hypocrisy.
“The APC has already made it clear that Buhari will be its candidate. So, why are they engaging in these games?”