Worried by the encroaching two-day work-free days for Eid-el-Fitri that threatens the ruling party’s pre-election time table, All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants, including the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu who is on Lesser Hajj in far away Saudi Arabia, are racing against time to buy nomination and expression of interest forms.
Nuhu Ribadu is confirmed to be positioning for the governorship of Northeast State of Adamawa in the 2023 general elections but is worried that time is running out on him, the reason he sent an aide to procure the forms for him. APC governorship forms cost N50 million, while that of the Presidency is N100 million.
Nigeria’s Eid-el-Fitri holiday on Monday and Tuesday has caused disruptions in the schedule for aspirants to collect the APC nomination forms to beat deadlines for collection and submission. Aspirants, Prime Business Africa reports, are expected to provide a certain number of guarantors from their constituencies depending on the positions they are vying for.
Some of the aspirants who spoke to Prime Business Africa on condition of anonymity said they are almost frustrated that banks, which ordinarily would confirm payments to the party’s national secretariat before receipts would be issued to them for collection of forms, would be closed for Monday and Tuesday.
Deadline for collection of forms is Friday May 6, 2022, while that of submission is on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, barely one week away. The aspirants are expected to canvass for party members’ signatures in at least 2-thirds of their constituencies to attest to their integrity or ‘sponsor’ them.
It was learnt that Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the EFCC and Presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) who is currently on Lesser Hajj in far away Saudi Arabia, on Friday sent his aide to the Buhari House secretariat of the APC to pick up the form but was told to bring a stamped payment confirmation from the bank.
The stranded aide, according to an eyewitness, pleaded that he be allowed to pick the forms on behalf of his principal having instantly transferred N50 million to the designated bank account but was told to secure the bank’s independent confirmation before a receipt would be issued to him prior to collection.
”Nuhu Ribadu sent his Personal Assistant to pick up the form for him on Friday,” an authoritative source told Prime Business Africa. ” The guy did the transfer of N50 million on Saturday in our presence and was waiting for the bank and Finance Department to confirm the transfer. Hopefully, he will pick up the form on Wednesday after the holiday,” she said.
Checks by our correspondent also found that many other aspirants for presidential, governorship and legislative offices are equally stranded as result of the encroachment of the two-day public holiday into the APC schedule for collection and submission of nomination and expression of interest forms.
Meanwhile, the National Secretariat of the APC has not given any indication as to whether or not the ruling party would be prepared to extend the deadline in lieu of the two days during which banks as critical actors in the transaction process would shut their doors to any form of physical transaction.