An Associate Professor, Dr Ehiyame Osezua, on Thursday decried the high fees for nomination and Expression of Interest forms fixed by the major political parties in the country.
Osezua, a Lecturer in the Public Administration Department, University of Ilorin, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the high cost of the forms contradicted the ideal of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act.
Recall that the All Progressives Congress fixed a total of N45 million as fee for both forms for its presidential aspirants, and N22.5 million for governorship aspirants.
House of Assembly aspirants would pay N850,000; aspirants into House of Representatives would pay N3.8million and the Senate N7million.
For the Peoples Democratic Party, aspirants would pay a total of N12million for its presidential nomination and Expression of Interest forms; N6million for governorship forms; N4million for Senate; N1.5million for House of Representatives and N600,000 for House of Assembly.
In a move designed to widen representation, the APC has offered half price discount for women and the disabled, while the PDP has made forms free for female candidates.
The PDP also claimed that it slashed the fee for nomination forms for House of Representatives by N1million to arrive at the fixed amount in keeping with its promise to enhance the inclusion of young persons in the democratic process.
Osezua called for a downward review of cost of the forms, saying that young people could not afford them at their present rates.
He said that the motive of the Not-too-Young -to-Run Act is to enable young people to be able to actively participate in the elections as contestants.
He said: “Many young persons, if not all of them, will not be able to buy the forms as high as N10 million in this country today.
“Meanwhile, critics of the Act are being justified by the exorbitant rates the forms are being sold.”
The don said that purpose of the Act may not be realised in parties with such huge amounts, if the cost of the forms remain as they are.
Osezua urged Nigerians who fall into the class of young people to also speak out against any act tantamount to marginalising their participation in seeking elective positions.
He added: “Political parties ought to implement policies that encourage inclusiveness and not acts that stylishly exclude some people.’’