PDP rakes in N.9bn from presidential, governorship aspirants




With the close of purchase of Expression of Interest and Nomination forms on Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party has raked in about N918 million from its presidential and governorship aspirants.
The party commenced sale of forms for various elective offices from State House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship to Presidency on August 28, and the exercise lasted some three weeks.
At the end of the exercise, some 13 presidential aspirants picked the forms.
They are; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Kano state Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankawaso  former Sokoto state Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, former Kaduna state Governor, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, former Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Senate President.
Bukola Saraki, former Senate President David Mark, former Plateau state Governor, Jonah Jang, Sokoto state Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, that of Gombe, Ibrahim Dankwambo, former Minister of the Special Duties, Kabir Tanimu Turaki, SAN, Datti Baba Ahmed and Osifo Stanley And for the governorship, a reliable source at the national secretariat of the party, told our correspondent that about 127 aspirants from across the six geopolitical zones, picked the forms.
It could be recalled that the party reduced the cost of presidential expression of interest and nomination forms to N12 million, while that of the governorship was pegged at N6 million.
Therefore, at the cost of N12 million, the total cost for the 13 presidential aspirants is N156 million, while at the cost of N6 million for governorship forms, the total for the 127 aspirants is N762 million.
It was revealed that the Northcentral zone has the highest number of aspirants for governorship, followed by North-west, North-east, South-east, South-south and Southwest respectively.
And at the state category, Plateau state has the highest number with 13 aspirants; Kwara and Gombe 11 aspirants each; Kaduna, 10; Katsina, 8; Benue, Adamawa and Imo have seven each.
Interestingly, states like Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Taraba states have one aspirant each.
A zone by zone breakdown of the number of aspirants, according to our findings, showed that in Northcentral, Nasarawa has five, Kwara, 11; Plateau, 13, Benue, seven and Niger, five.
The tenure of Kogi state governor has not yet expired.
From the Northwest, Kano has 5; Kaduna, 10; Katsina, 8; Jigawa, 8; Kebbi, 4; Sokoto, 2 and Zamfara, 2.
For those in the North-east, Taraba has one, that is the incumbent governor, Arch.
Dairus Ishiaku; Bauchi, has 4 aspirants; Gombe, 11; Adamawa, seven; Borno, 3 and Yobe, 2.
In the South-east, Ebonyi has one; Imo, 7; Enugu, one, and Abia, one, while Anambra state is not under contention as the tenure of the present governor is yet to be over.
For the South-west, Ogun has one aspirant, Oyo has two and Lagos, two, as Ondo, Ekiti and Osun states are not part of 2019 election.
Also in the South-south, Cross River has four aspirants; Delta has one; Akwa Ibom has one and Rivers, one, while Edo and Bayelsa are not part of the 2019 elections.
It’s democracy monestised –Don Commenting on the development, Professor Hassan A.
Saliu of the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, described the development as not too healthy for the nation’s democracy.
Speaking to Blueprint on the telephone yesterday, Professor Saliu viewed the issue from three perspectives namely; morality, reality and monetisation of the nation’s democracy.
He said: “From the morality point of view, people will simply ask that ‘what is in a three-page form to warrant being obtained for N6million or N12million as the case may be?’ “The reality aspect is that ‘how do the political parties fund their activities?’ This question is apt when viewed against the backdrop of governors’ reluctance to contribute to the parties.
Besides, people are being careful of putting money in order not to run afoul of the law on party financing.
“And thirdly, there is this fear that the nation’s democracy is gradually being monetised.
The question now is; must we continue to monetize everything because one wants to provide leadership? So, this huge nomination fee just goes to indicate that Nigeria’s politics is being heavily and highly monetised.” “If somebody would need between N6million and N12million to be president or governor as the case may be, how much will he require to fund the campaign, buy campaign vehicles and feeding those boys on the campaign train? So, the long and short of this now is that those who genuinely have something to offer but do not have the financial wherewithal can’t come forward to provide leadership.
Then, what follows? So, corruption will continue and this certainly will take the nation nowhere,” the varsity teacher further contended

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