Adamu Garba, an aspirant who had declared his intention to contest the presidency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says he will not purchase the nomination form for his party.
He disclosed this on Twitter as he appreciated his supporters for their help and commitment so far. The tweet contained a statement issued at a press briefing where he first announced his withdrawal from the race.
This development comes as the sales of APC forms is dated to close on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
Speaking to press men in Abuja, he credited the high cost of the APC presidential form for his decision to give up his aspiration. While criticising the part over the N100 million fixed for the nomination and expression of interest forms, Garba said although he got N83 million in donations, there were issues on the forthcoming presidential primary, which he didn’t agree with.
“This conference to notify Nigerians and my supporters all over the country that after high-level deliberation with our internal campaign team, we have concluded that we will not be obtaining the expression of interest and nomination form for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of the APC,” he said.
According to him, pegging the presidential form at N100 million would promote financialisation and commercialization of the country’s political space.
Garba said his decision not to obtain APC presidential form followed due consultation with his campaign team, which, he said, had generated N83.2 million in private and online donations.
“We have recorded the sum of N81,750,000.00 in private donations and N1,457,794.70 in online donations, totaling N83,207,794.70. We sincerely, immensely, and graciously thank everyone for these wonderful contributions and donations, including those who made theirs anonymously.”
He also noted that donors will be refunded accordingly.
He said, “We believe this action is capable of over financialising our political space, institutionalizing vote-buying, encouraging corruption, and complete obliteration the youth and the poor from participation.
“When we raised this concern on several media fora, the party, however, believed the high cost of form will separate the serious contenders from unserious ones.
“This goes contrary to our belief that you can only separate serious contenders from unserious ones by the competency, capacity, credibility, strength of the programme, workable solutions, and sellable candidate to Nigeria through rapid intra-party debates and other high-level criteria reviews that can ensure we present a better leader for future for Nigeria.
“We further discovered that even if we went ahead to obtain the form, the party has foreclosed the plan for primary election because of the presence of the request for a Letter of Voluntary withdrawal on page 18 of the nomination form.
“I cannot, in all honesty, rally funds from my supporters in the hope that we will be having a primary election, then sign a post dated letter of voluntary withdrawal from the contest.”
He said APC had taken several steps that may likely dent its democratic credentials.
“These steps, if not changed, could reverse the gains we make over time and return us back to centrist, sycophantic, patronage-driven unitary systems, a situation we have to avoid at all costs in the interest of the future of Nigeria,” he said.
Garba also said his next political move would be announced in coming days.