News / Africa

Criticism of Higher Candidate Fees for Nigeria's Ruling Party

A lady carries placard at St. Leo Catholic church in Lagos, 09 Sept. 2010
A lady carries placard at St. Leo Catholic church in Lagos, 09 Sept. 2010

Multimedia

Audio

Prospective ruling-party candidates for next year's nationwide elections in Nigeria are paying far higher nomination fees than the last vote. Some party members say the higher fees could encourage corruption.

Ruling Party's stand

Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party says higher nomination fees are meant to demonstrate a prospective candidates' seriousness while helping to fund nationwide campaigns.

In the first week alone, the party raised more than $33-million. But some party members say the increases are undemocratic and unfairly favor incumbents.

Nigerian House of Assembly candidates three years ago paid about $650 to run for the ruling-party nomination. This year they are paying more than $6,500. Gubernatorial candidates three years ago paid more than $13,000. Now they are paying more than $32,000.

Even if first-time candidates come up with the nomination fee, ruling party member Ovie Joseph wonders how they would ever be able to afford to campaign.

"If you paid one million Naira or two million or five million Naira in regards to the nomination form alone, where do you find the money for the election? So it's unfair," Joseph said.

Higher fees means excluding freshers with new ideas

While it is common for political parties to charge nomination fees, Delta State University political science professor Isitoah Ozoemene says the higher charges will be counter productive for the ruling party if they end up excluding fresher candidates with new ideas.

"What they are trying to do is to deprive a lot of persons who have genuine interest of the masses at heart, people who think they can go into the system and affect changes," said Ozoemene. "The only people who can afford this amount of money are those who are already within the system. The normal man on the street, the average person is going to be excluded."

Ozoemene says prospective candidates who can not afford to pay the nomination fee may end up beholden to those who put up the money to start their campaigns.

"What we are creating is room for Godfather politics," he added. "Which we are all against. Which we are all complaining about. This is the reason why our system has not been functional. But what we are doing now is to give an opportunity to the rich and famous among us to hijack the party by sponsoring candidates."

Making money may take precedence over serving constituents

There is also the risk that higher fees could put some candidates so far in debt that they will do anything to get themselves elected. Once they are in office, political analyst Ignatius Onwuemele says those leaders may be more interested in making money than serving their constituents.

"By the time somebody is able to get such funds from wherever, he may want to recoup that money before he even thinks of doing good for the people," Onwuemele said.

For all the criticism of the higher nomination fees, there has been little mention of the $64,000 required to stand as a presidential candidate, mostly because the power of the office draws so many more contributors and the fee itself is a relatively small amount considering the overall cost of running to lead a country of more than 150 million people.

President Goodluck Jonathan, for example, had his nomination fee paid by ruling-party governors in a show of their support for his candidacy.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More