High cost of nominations forms of parties deepening political corruption in Nigeria—Onochie
By Chijindu Emeruwa
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party and Ex-Nigerian Envoy to Algeria and Phillipines, Orefo Nnamdi Onochie, has called for the urgent need for reduction of cost of buying forms of the political parties by aspirants jostling for elective political offices.
He opined that the cost of purchasing forms of the parties as first line of political corruption and mismanagement of Nigeria’s elections coupled with the nature and scope of the actual election campaigns.
Orefo Onochie, who had announced his intention to run for the position of President of Nigeria in the upcoming 2023 general elections, made his feelings known in a worded statement forwarded to our correspondent on Wednesday, noted that funding individual or political party campaigns creates an environment that discourages honest persons from participating in the process.
He posited that the cost of buying and obtaining the candidate from is deliberately hiked up thereby only persons who have so much money by corruptly acquired public money, can afford to pay for the two forms.
According to him, “certainly the routine way of raising party funds is through sales of forms to contestants. But the current INEC authoritised was has for too long bred and led to corruption in Nigeria. It is already being speculated that that the total cost of Obtaining the forms maybe as high as N18M , or as low N12M. But the question is: Why does INEC, independent by statute, permit the political parties to charge so much money?
Onochie also queried, “When and if such sums of money are paid by politicians, whose incomes upon being elected is known, how does this impact on corruption amongst such officials? What purpose and goals will such funds gathered from the Aspirants serve the political parties?
“The negative responses from such questions point to the need to begin the redemption of Nigeria by clear control of funding the political elections campaigns of the parties”, he added.
The presidential hopeful maintained that unless there is a return before the 2023 General and Presidential elections of for INEC to administratively enact rules and guidelines of the above-stated genre, Nigeria will fail to be redeemed through the 2023 change of government.
Also according to him, “the current perennial rot and collapsed economic ànd social structures will continue and worsen. The active pursuit of several identifiable harakiri politicians, is a factual pointer to this dismal trajectory.
Continuing, PDP Stalwart, however, promised that if given chance to emerge as Nigerian President come 2023 election, the Independent National Electoral Commission would be compelled to issue mandatory Guidelines on sale of 2023 election form not exceeding N50, 000.00 for Female presidential aspirants; and all other forms for electable positions will be calculated in less weighted amounts not below N20,000.00.
According to Orefo Onochie, “Specific to presidential and Governorship campaigns, only four Zonal rallies should be undertaken respectively, by all political parties to introduce their candidates after the party primaries. Reduce the period of official campaigns to only 14 days before the actual elections, among others”.