2023 General Elections: CSO condemns exorbitant fees for party’s nomination forms

A civil society organisation (CSO), Yiaga Africa, has expressed concern over the exorbitant cost of nomination forms of political parties for the 2023 general elections.

According to Yiaga Africa, the high cost of nomination forms being charged by political parties in preparation for the 2023 general elections was a huge disservice to teeming women, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs), who nurse the ambition to run for elective offices in next year’s general elections.

A statement issued by the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, said the practice does not bode well for Nigeria’s fledgling democracy as it further marginalises women and youth, two vulnerable groups who make up the largest demography in the country from participating in the political process.

The full statement read: Yiaga Africa notes with utmost concern the high cost of nomination forms being charged by political parties in preparation for the 2023 general elections.

We note that this is a huge disservice to teeming women, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) who nurse the ambition to run for elective office in next year’s general elections.

It is imperative to state that this practice does not bode well for Nigeria’s fledgling democracy as it further marginalizes women and youth, two vulnerable groups who make up the largest demography in the country from participating in the political process.

The expensive nature of Nigeria’s politics has been established to be a structural barrier to women and youth political participation, thus, it is saddening to see that political parties, which remain the primary medium for contesting elections in the country continue to perpetuate this injustice.

With the passage of the age eligibility (Not Too Young To Run) bill into law close to the 2019 general elections, it was envisaged that young people would take advantage of the Not Too Young To Run Act and contest for office en-masse in the 2023 general elections, as this would give them ample time to prepare for the elections.

However, going by the high cost of nomination forms that have been announced so far by some political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections, it is safe to say that this is a deliberate attempt to marginalize women, youth, and persons living with disabilities (PWDs) from participating in the political process as candidates in the forthcoming general elections.

It is no news that these marginalized groups are economically disadvantaged to compete fairly with the old guard, who have accumulated resources to be able to afford the cost of running for office.

We welcome the concessions made by some political parties to women, youth, and PWDs and call for a further downward review of the cost of nomination forms to allow for an inclusive process without discrimination to any group or demography of the society.

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