By Evelyn Okakwu
Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) made at least N6.9 billion from the sale of forms for the presidential, governorship, senatorial, and House of Representative aspirants, this paper can report.
The ruling party is yet to declare how much it made in total from sale of forms and is only legally mandated to do so to the electoral commission, INEC, when it submits its annual report. However, the earnings were calculated from public reports by the party’s National Working Committee. The review does not, however, contain the amount the national headquarters made from sale of forms to House of Assembly aspirants in the 36 states.
The review indicate that the APC made N3.59 billion from 160 governorship aspirants.
Also, the 282 candidates cleared to contest for the senatorial tickets paid a total of N1.95 billion for purchase of nomination and indication of interest forms respectively.
The party also made at least N1.39 billion from House of Representatives aspirants, while its sole presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, got his forms for N45 million.
The cost of obtaining the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms for the presidential ticket was N45 million, N22.5 million for governorship, N7 million for senatorial forms and N3.85 million for House of Representative forms.
The party had also announced a 50 per cent discount for female aspirants and physically-challenged contestants.
The details show that while the list of screened governorship aspirants had a woman; the cleared senatorial aspirants list had 21 women.
Despite criticisms of the high cost of nomination forms by aspirants and activists, the APC justified the fees saying it needed the money for its campaigns.
The APC on September 27 released the list of all governorship aspirants who purchased its forms for the 2019 election.
The 160 names included both those cleared for the primaries and those disqualified including two serving ministers. At N22.5 million each, the total amount made from the sale of the 160 forms would be N3.6 billion.
With 21 governorship aspirants, Borno topped the list of states with the highest number of aspirants.
Borno State is closely followed by Taraba with 12 governorship candidates. However, the then minister of women affairs, Aisha Alhassan, who was among the aspirants screened out of the race enjoyed a 50 per cent discount based on the APC’s gender consideration. The party thus made N258.75 million from sale of governorship forms to Taraba aspirants.
Nasarawa State came third on the list with 11 governorship candidates, whose forms were worth N247.5 million.
Gombe, Zamfara, Ebonyi and Imo states had nine contestants each for the governorship position, worth N202.5 million from each of the respective states.
Oyo State produced eight prospective governorship aspirants, whose forms were worth N180 million collectively, while Abia State had seven contestants who paid a total N157.5 million.
Benue, Ogun and Enugu states had six governorship contestants each, with sale of forms worth N135 million in each state.
Yobe, Delta and Cross River states all had five governorship contestants, whose forms totalled N112.5 million for each state.
Bauchi, Sokoto, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states had four governorship aspirants each, whose forms summed up to N90 million for each state while Lagos, Katsina and Adamawa states had three contestants each with their forms totalling N67.5 million for each state.
Niger, Jigawa and Kebbi states produced two governorship aspirants who paid a total N45 million for each state while the incumbent governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong, emerged the only aspirant of the party in his state.
Unlike what it did for the governorship aspirants, the APC only released the names of senatorial aspirants cleared to contest its primaries. The list, and number, of aspirants who purchased forms but were disqualified was not published and thus not used for this tabulation.
This means the ruling party definitely made more than the amount calculated in this analysis.
Released on October 2, the cleared senatorial aspirants were 282 across Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja.
In Akwa-Ibom, Anambra and Nasarawa states, the party had five senatorial aspirants each whose forms amounted to N35 million per state, making a total of N105 million. However, following the party’s policy of discounting the cost of forms for female aspirants, N28 million was made from Nasarawa State.
About N56 million was expected from eight prospective APC senators in Cross Rivers and Adamawa states, at N7 million each. With three female aspirants, however the two states recorded a discount of N21 million, making it N45 million, that was generated for the exercise in both states.
Delta, Abia, Imo, Taraba and Yobe states had six aspirants each. The total cost of nomination forms would have totalled N210 million from the five states. However, giving the presence of three female aspirants in Delta and Abia states, the funds generated from candidates in these states was slashed to N189 million.
The APC targeted a total of N49 million from each of Edo, Bayelsa, Kano, Katsina and Gombe states, with seven aspirants each, making a total of N245 million for the five states. However, with three female aspirants in Edo, Bayelsa and Gombe states, the party eventually generated N224 million from these states.
Kaduna State had four cleared aspirants whose forms totalled N28 million. However, information later emerged the party cleared more aspirants in Kaduna Central Senatorial District, but the party headquarters never authenticated the information.
For Zamfara, Sokoto, Ondo and Lagos states, the party announced the clearance of three aspirants each making a total of 12 candidates whose forms equalled N84 million for all four states.
Enugu, Kebbi, Ekiti and Borno states had 10 people vying for the senatorial positions each, with the forms totalling N280 million. Enugu State had a female aspirant, making the total cost of forms N276.5 million from this category.
Jigawa, Ogun, Oyo, Benue and the FCT had nine contestants each who were screened for the Senate tickets, totalling 45 candidates worth N315 million. However three of the screened aspirants from Benue State and the FCT were women, which brought the cost of forms to N294 million from the list of states within this category.
Bauchi and Kwara states had 14 aspirants each screened for the Senate tickets with their forms worth N196 million.
Plateau State had 13 aspirants screened for the Senate ticket, including a woman, making the cost of forms in that state N87.5 million. Kogi State had 12 aspirants while 11 APC members were screened for the Senate tickets in Ebonyi State. Consequently, the APC made N84 million and N77 million in Kogi and Ebonyi respectively.
With 21 aspirants screened in Niger, the state had the highest number of contestants, cleared from three senatorial districts. The cost of forms for the aspirants was N147 million.
The APC headquarters is yet to publicly release the list of aspirants who either bought forms or were cleared for the House of Representatives ticket. However, even if only one aspirant bought forms in each of the 360 seats in the House, the ruling party would have made N1.39 billion from sale of forms.