Ebonyi LG Election: Democracy For Sale As APC's Chairmanship Interest, Nomination Forms Go For N25m

May 13, 2024 - 11:58
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Ebonyi LG Election: Democracy For Sale As APC's Chairmanship Interest, Nomination Forms Go For N25m

From Oko OMAKA (Abakaliki)

The pending Ebonyi State local government elections seem to be for the highest bidder as All Progressives Congress (APC) expression of interest and nomination forms are sold for N25m.

In a circular issued at APC secretariat signed by Hon. Stanley Okoro Emegha and Charles Chukwuma Ofoke as State Chairman and Secretary respectively and obtained by THE BEAGLE NEWS, the sales of forms would last for only yen days commencing on Monday, May 13 2024 and would end on Thursday, May 23 2024.

The forms are to be obtained at the party secretariat, International Conference Centre (ICC), Abakaliki.

According to the statement, those aspiring for council chairman, expression of Interest form goes for N5,000,000.00, while nomination form is N20,000,000.00.

For while ward councillorship aspirants, expression of interest is N50,000.00 and election nomination form is N150,000.00 while ward congress delegate form is N10,000.00.

The statement noted that "expression of Interest Forms are free for female aspirants and male aspirants who are below 39 years of age with evidence of age declaration from any Court of law."

An APC stalwart, who simply gave his name as Austine Ogbu from Abakaliki, said: "This is outrageous and unacceptable. It would encourage corruption at the grassroots level of governance. How can a parry tell aspirants to cough out N25m just for forms?

"Perhaps, they don't want some of us to participate anymore. I am sure they kept it for the highest bidder and the god-fathers would just hijack the process."

Also reacting, an activist, Comrade Mike Nwanganga, said: "APC is up for grabs in Ebonyi state and only incumbent chairmen would have the financial muscle to run for the election. Well, that is the disadvantage of running a one party state. 

"It is high time other parties woke up to challenge the ruling party. Democracy is for the people and must be participatory. Fixing such an amount would credible people who cannot afford it from participating."

Recall that the Chairman of Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, (EBSIEC), Barrister Josy Eze, had fixed Saturday, July 20, 2024 for the election of the 13 local government areas and 171 political wards in the state.

Eze explained that the election would be held in the 171 political wards, urging political parties to actively participate in the process. 

"Under the provision of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999,(as amended), the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission Law, 2001, as amended, and the Ebonyi State Electoral and Related Matters Law, No. 001 of 2017, as amended, and all other powers enabling her in that behalf, the Ebonyi state independent electoral commission do hereby publish and give notice of local government council elections in Ebonyi state 2024.

“Further take notice that the date of elections ( day of polls) is Saturday, 20 day of July, 2024 throughout Ebonyi state; and that Nomination papers are to be delivered at the commission’s headquarters, No. 1 Onwe road Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.

“Also take notice that it is further published in each of the thirteen local government areas and the one hundred and seventy-one electoral wards in Ebonyi state that electoral are to be held," the Chairman said. 

It was gathered that the tenure of the EBSIEC Chairman will elapse on July 31st, 2024.