A civil society organisation (CSO), Yiaga Africa, has expressed concern over the exorbitant cost of nomination forms of political parties for the 2023 general elections.
According to Yiaga Africa, the high cost of nomination forms being charged by political parties in preparation for the 2023 general elections was a huge disservice to teeming women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs), who nurse the ambition to run for elective offices in next year’s general elections.
A statement issued by the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, said the practice does not bode well for Nigeria’s fledging democracy as it further marginalises women and youth, two vulnerable groups who make up the largest demography in the country from participating in the political process.
Even though Yiaga Africa did not mention any political party as culprit, LEADERSHIP reported that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had peg the cost of its presidential forms for N100 million while governorship will cost N50 million.
“The expensive nature of Nigeria’s politics has been established to be a structural barrier to women and youth political participation, thus, it is saddening to see that political parties, which remains the primary medium for contesting elections in the country continue to perpetuate this injustice.
“With the passage of the age eligibility (Not Too Young To Run) bill into law close to the 2019 general elections, it was envisaged that young people would take advantage of the Not Too Young To Run Act and contest for office en-masse in the 2023 general elections, as this would give them ample time to prepare for the elections. However, going by the high cost of nomination forms that have been announced so far by some political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections, it is safe to say that this is a deliberate attempt to marginalize women, youth and persons living with disabilities (PWDs) from participating in the political process as candidates in the forthcoming general elections. It is no news that these marginalized groups are economically disadvantaged to compete fairly with the old guard, who have accumulated resources to be able to afford the cost of running for office.
“We welcome the concessions made by some political parties to women, youth and PWDs and call for a further downward review of the cost of nomination forms to allow for an inclusive process without discrimination to any group or demography of the society,” the statement added.