Four months after President Buhari gave and order to leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to refund the nomination fees to all aspirants who stepped down for the party’s consensus arrangement at the party’s March 26 National Convention, the party is yet to comply.
Recall that President Buhari, during a meeting with eight national chairmanship aspirants on March 23, persuaded them to step down for a consensus candidate, with a promise to refund their nomination fees.
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Each aspirant for party offices paid between N20 and N2.5 million for the expression of interest and
nomination forms, depending on the office contested for.
Report has it that the party raked in over N700 million from about 170 persons.
It was also learnt that the party generated over N3 billion from members who purchased the expression of interest and nomination forms to contest for tickets ahead if the 2023 general elections.
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However, inspite of the billions of Naira realised from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for both party offices and various elective positions, the ruling party appears to be finding it hard to meet her financial obligations.
An affected member who stepped down for one of the national vice chairmanship candidates, who pleaded anonymity decried the non-compliance with Buhari’s directive.
He said: “When the President gave the order on March 23rd, one will think, the first assignment of the beneficiaries of the consensus arrangement, that is the NWC members, was to effect an immediate refund of our nomination fees, having asked us to write our bank details for refund.
“The party is buoyant. The governor Buni-led Caretaker Committee left money, the NWC equally realised a huge sum of money running to billions of Naira. What excuse will the NWC give for this delay? The NWC has since paid their allowances.
“Individually, we applied for a refund and we have collectively sent a formal letter through the Forum of National Convention Aspirants but all have gone unattended to by the party.”
Responding, APC National Vice Chairman (North West), Dr. Salihu Lukman regretted the delay in payment and said that the matter is being looked into.
His words, “It is part of the unfortunate internal challenges. Administratively, this should have been resolved long ago. For instance, in my case, about four people stepped down for me and they have been talking to me. I have been drawing the attention of the party and I think now it is clear that the party has to resolve it as quickly as possible. I can assure you that is going to happen.”