The media space was Sunday morning saturated with the information that Presidential aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would each require at least 10 statutory delegates from each of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja to sign their forms before they could submit them.
According to reports which listed some aspirants as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi and Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, among others, the presidential aspirants are expected to have their forms endorsed by the 370 delegates before returning them to the ‘Buhari House’ headquarters of the APC in Abuja. Of the over 30 politicians who have declared interest to run for President under the APC, 18 people have so far collected the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms as of Saturday evening.
How True Is The Information That Presidential Aspirants Must Secure 370 Statutory Delegates Signatures To Qualify?
Prime Business Africa independently searched out the ‘mandatory provisions’ as well as the requirement for collection and return of presidential nomination and expression of interest forms by aspirants as contained in the APC official guidelines.
Section 4 of the party’s guidelines spells out the mandatory provisions thus:
1) Aspirants shall comply with the Constitutional Provisions and requirements applicable to the public office to be contested for.
2) This compliance shall be without prejudice to other necessary requirements of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), the Party Constitution (as amended) and such additional guidelines as may be issued:
a. Specifically, the applicable provisions are Sections 176, 177 and 182 in respect of the office of the Governor
b) With respect for the Qualification requirements of an aspirant seeking a seat in the National Assembly (Senate/House of Representatives), the applicable provisions are sections 65 and 66 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
c) In the case of qualifications for membership of State House of Assembly, the Provisions are Sections 106 and 107 of the Constitution (as amended).
For Presidential aspirants, Sections 5 and 6 of the APC guidelines as seen by PBA stipulate conditions for collection of Nomination (N70 million) and Expression of Interest (N30 million) Forms as well as for ”Sponsors of Aspirants’ thus;
THE FACT: From the above provisions in the Party Guidelines for the 2023 general elections, Presidential aspirants of the APC, including Osinbajo, Tinubu, Fayemi, Amaechi and Bello, among others, require one party member (not statutory delegate) from each of the 109 senatorial districts, including the FCT, Abuja.
VERDICT: No, Tinubu, Osinbajo, Fayemi, Amaechi, Bello and all other APC presidential aspirants do not require 370 statutory delegates to sign their nomination forms before they can submit them!
Reports that the aspirants would require 370 statutory delegates (10 from each state and Abuja) as signatories/sponsors before they would be able to submit their forms are, therefore, incorrect. The Presidential aspirants only require one party member from each senatorial district.