•Funds may put party in vantage position against opposition
Iyobosa Uwugiaren and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A conservative estimate by THISDAY has shown that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may rake in over N30 billion from the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms, giving the ruling party enormous firepower to face the 2023 general election.
“With a huge war chest expected from sale of forms, the ruling party will have a commanding advantage in the field if the resources are properly deployed,” a political analyst, who preferred anonymity, told THISDAY last night.
The presidential nomination form in APC goes for N100 million; the governorship form is sold for N50 million; Senate, N20 million; House of Representatives, N10 million; and House of Assembly, N2 million.
A rundown on the expected revenue from the electoral process shows APC may generate over N2.3 billion from the sale of presidential forms; N2.8 billion from the sale of governorship forms; and roughly N6.54 billion from the sale of senatorial forms. The party could make about N10.8 billion from the sale of forms to a minimum of three House of Representatives aspirants from each of the country’s 360 federal constituencies. And it could generate about N7.93 billion from the sale of forms to a minimum of four aspirants vying for each of the 991 House of Assembly seats across the country.
THISDAY arrived at these estimates looking at the number of likely contestants in the various categories of elective offices.
So far, 23 presidential aspirants have indicated interest in the presidency under the ruling party and APC is expected to generate N2.3 billion from the sale of presidential forms. As more contenders join the race or drop out of the race, the figures would either go up or come down.
With governorship elections holding in 28 states next year, THISDAY estimated that there would be at least two aspirants from each of the states, and at N50 million per aspirant, the party stood to rake in N2.8 billion.
For the Senate, there are 109 senatorial seats in the country, and with at least three aspirants from each senatorial district, and forms going for N20 million, the party may rake in N6.54 billion. The 360 House of Representatives seats, with an estimated three aspirants per federal constituency, and the form going for N10 million, give the party about N10.8 billion.
In addition, with an estimated four people picking nomination forms to contest in the primary election for each of the 991 House of Assembly seats, at N2 million per form, APC is likely to rake in N7.93 billion.
Those that have either indicated interest in contesting the APC presidential primaries or picked their forms include the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Governor Muhammed Abubakar of Jigawa State, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, and former Senate President Ken Nnamani.
Others are former National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiohmole; former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr, Ogbonnaya Onu; Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio; Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan; Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; Gbenga Olawepo; Ihechukwu Dallas; Chima Usman; Tein Jack Rich; and Pastor Tunde Bakare.
Political analysts believe with the ruling party raking in over N30 billion, it would be going into the election from a position of strength against the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is working hard to take power from APC.
National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, recently justified the high cost of the party’s nominations forms, saying the party has no regrets whatsoever fixing the presidential form for N100 million. Adamu explained that APC came up with the idea to discourage spoilers and unserious contenders from the race.
He said the party did its homework before arriving at the amount, adding that the cost has to be high because of the need to raise sufficient funds to conduct primaries and successfully prosecute the coming elections.
Adamu said the party was aware that some of the aspirants were not serious contenders but mere jesters out to cause problems.
A source told THISDAY that about 50 per cent of the presidential aspirants might have paid the mandatory fees and collected the forms, while others were believed to be looking for money to beat the deadlines.
The party had in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, extended the time for the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for the 2023 general election to May 10 due to what an insider attributed to the “long holiday.”
In a revised timetable released by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu, APC said the last day for the submission of completed forms and accompanying documents would now be May 11.
The Jigawa State governor was said to have told APC stakeholders in Dutse on Tuesday, “I will join the presidential race since everyone knows I’m a highly qualified person to do the job.” He reportedly said he was pressurised to contest for the presidential office by his colleagues.
There are also indications that the Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, may declare his interest in the presidency and pick his form soon.