In 2014, Buhari complained that N27.5m was too much to buy presidential nomination forms.
In October 2014, when General Muhammadu Buhari picked his presidential nomination form which was sold for N27.5m, he complained and lamented that the price tag was outrageous.
During the build-up to the 2015 elections, which swept the PDP out of power, Mr Buhari rode on the campaign that presented him as a man of integrity, whose perceived aversion for corruption could not be compromised.
Many Nigerians who believed in his coming felt the military general would deal with corrupt practices in the corridor of power and sweep the country clean with the APC brooms he waved at every campaign ground.
Buhari’s ‘integrity’ was further sold to Nigerians when he lamented that he had no money to buy his party’s nomination forms.
When he eventually picked the party’s presidential nomination forms, Buhari said: “I felt heavily sorry for myself because I don’t want to go and ask somebody to pay for my nomination forms, because I always try to pay myself, at least for the nomination. N27 million is a big sum.”
Because N27m was too much for Buhari to get the forms, he tried to convince John Odigie-Oyegun, the National Chairman of the APC at the time to reduce the price, but according to him, Odigie-Oyegun told him to pick the form and keep a straight face.
“Thankfully I have a personal relationship with the manager of my bank in Kaduna and I told him that very soon the forms are coming, so, whether I am on red, or green or even black please honour it otherwise I may lose the nomination,” Buhari said.
According to Odigie-Oyegun, the N27.5m presidential form was intended “to separate the men from the boys”.
One would have thought that a man who complained bitterly about buying a presidential nomination form at N27.5m would use his influence as the president of the country and leader of the ruling party to beat down the price for subsequent elections. Instead, the APC increased the price of presidential nomination forms by 63.6 percent four years later.
In 2018, the party sold its presidential nomination forms for N45 million, and Buhari picked the forms for his second term- like the Abuja biggest boy that he is- without complaining about the price.
Fast forward to 2022, the APC headed by Buhari pulled a shocker and threw caution to the wind.
The party on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, announced that its presidential nomination forms for the 2023 presidential election would be sold for N100m.
As if the announcement was not insensitive enough, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, said the party took into consideration the present economic situation in the country before pegging the price at N100m.
Reacting to the outrageous price yesterday, Adamu Garba, one of the presidential aspirants contesting for president on the platform of the party condemned the development and urged Nigerians to save the country from politicians who are bent on buying political offices.
Obviously, like Odgie-Oyegun said in 2014, the exorbitant price tag is intended to separate the boys from the men, and Adamu’s reactions, shows he is one of the boys the party wants to get rid of.
The men like former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governors Yahaya Bello, David Umahi, and other ‘big men’ contesting for president on the party can afford to stake N100m in the presidential game and regret nothing.
Ironically, the party that gained power with an agenda to fight corruption appears to be encouraging it, while the man that promised to sweep it out acts like a spectator in the administration he leads.
- Tijani Pepper is a news reporter at Panel News, and gistreportar. He is a passionate journalist in Politics, Sports development and investigative journalism.
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