The All Progressives Congress (APC), is yet to heed the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, about four months after he directed the leadership of the party to refund the nomination fees to all aspirants who stepped down for the party’s consensus arrangement at the APC March 26 National Convention.
An aggrieved aspirant from one of the North-west states who pleaded anonymity decried the non-compliance with Buhari’s directive.
He said: “When the President gave the order on March 23rd, one will think the first assignment of the beneficiaries of the consensus arrangement, that is the NWC members, was to effect an immediate refund of our nomination fees, having asked us to write our bank details for refund.
“The party is buoyant. The governor Buni-led Caretaker Committee left money, the NWC equally realised a huge sum of money running to billions of Naira. What excuse will the NWC give for this delay? The NWC has since paid their allowances.
“Individually, we applied for a refund and we have collectively sent a formal letter through the Forum of National Convention Aspirants but all have gone unattended to by the party.”
However, in spite of the billions of Naira realised from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for both party offices and various elective positions, the ruling party appears to be finding it difficult to meet her financial obligations.
It was gathered that the party generated over N3 billion from members who purchased the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms to contest for the party’s tickets ahead of the 2023 general election.
Responding, APC National Vice Chairman (North West), Dr. Salihu Lukman regretted the delay in payment and said that the matter is being looked into.
According to him, “It is part of the unfortunate internal challenges. Administratively, this should have been resolved long ago. For instance, in my case, about four people stepped down for me and they have been talking to me. I have been drawing the attention of the party and I think now it is clear that the party has to resolve it as quickly as possible. I can assure you that is going to happen.”
It will be recalled that in order to achieve a consensus arrangement ahead of the party’s convention, Buhari at a meeting on the 23rd of March with eight National Chairmanship aspirants, held at the Villa, persuaded them to step down for a consensus candidate, with a promise of a refund of their nomination fee.
Each of the aspirants for various party offices paid between N2.5 and N20 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms.
Although the party reportedly raked in over N700 million from about 170 persons who obtained nomination forms to contest for various party positions, aggrieved aspirants have lamented about the non-compliance with the Presidential directive since March.