Recently, groups comprising professionals and business persons purchased presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for politicians to contest various positions in upcoming general elections in 2023. This trend has sparked debates with many saying politicians are hiding under the guise of these groups to purchase the forms themselves. Daily Trust speaks to some Nigerians.
Solomon Enilolobo Entrepreneur, Public health professional, Abeokuta, Ogun State
I think it’s a clear case of error in judgment or a mere political patronage for young people to buy nomination forms worth millions of naira for the like of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to run for president.
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For me, it is young people that are competent and who have the character and capacity to lead the country that need such help. The people that groups are said to have bought forms for had once occupied public offices and do not need any help to get nomination forms.
Imoleayo Mawutin Deji, Youth leader, Ipokia, Ogun State
I laughed when I read in the news that politicians who are buoyant enough to buy nomination forms for themselves are claiming that the forms were bought for them by some groups. Maybe, they see the move as a way of telling the electorates that they are being called to serve or a way to win their hearts if they eventually get the nod of their political parties.
Usman Babangida Abdullahi, Public commentator, Minna, Niger State
How can politicians just wake up and tell us that a group of people bought nomination forms for them? Common sense would not believe this. They are just fooling us. It is a big lie. Even if such groups exist, they don’t have such money in this hardship to buy a nomination form for a politician who may not even think that they exist when the election is won?
In 2015, when people were anxious, looking for a change wholeheartedly, they bought a form for Buhari through various platforms. But apart from that, any person telling you that a group bought nomination forms for him is telling a lie. It is their money they gave to those people to purchase the forms for them. The truth of the matter is that 80 per cent of politicians have failed us.
Ahmed Ismaila Community leader, Iwoye – Ketu, Ogun State
I don’t believe it. Who are the youths buying nomination forms of N40m for presidential aspirants? It is a political gimmick engineered by the politicians themselves.
They do this to create an impression of acceptability by the masses. But it is obvious that no group would contribute money to buy nomination forms for the likes of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and others. These are people who can afford nomination forms. Nigerians are wiser now and can’t be swayed by any political gimmicks.
Mr Tunde Rufai,media practitioner, Ilorin, Kwara State
There is nothing wrong with an individual or a group of people buying form for a candidate they trust can fulfill their political yearnings.
But in the Nigerian context, I don’t think there is any sincerity in this.
This started in 2015 when the present president’s form was paid for through contributions. After his first term, a group of political caucus also bought the form that gave him the second term and a new political trend was born.
As far as I am concerned, I don’t trust this new wave. My advice is that it should be stopped by any means possible.
Hadiza Usman, Youth corps member Minna, Niger State
I don’t believe such politicians. I would only believe if such a statement comes from somebody I know is poor and wants to contest. There is no way people like Atiku who have been into the business and have been planning for a very long time would say a group bought nomination forms for them. It is an underground arrangement. I will never believe such a deceptive statement.
Timothy Ekpo, Civil Servant Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State
For someone to say that a group of people bought a nomination form worth N20 million for an aspirant that may not be elected in the primaries or lose the election, is a cock and bull story.
If the politician claims that his constituency bought the form for him, they would expect a kick back from him and at the end of the day, he could be under pressure to refund the money directly or indirectly which is corruption.
Patrick Odey, journalist Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State
I don’t believe that a group of people would buy nomination forms for politicians. Where will they get N20 million to do that? It is just a marketing strategy adopted by politicians to claim that they are the people’s choice to scare away other opponents.
But if it is true that groups of people are buying forms for politicians, it portends a bad signal for Nigerian politics because their expectations would be very high and could led to unrest if the politicians fail to fulfill their promises. So, politicians should buy their forms by themselves.
Osagbemi Gideon Esq, Ilorin, Kwara State
The history can be traced to 2019 when a group of rice farmers raised money for President Buhari to purchase his presidential nomination form of his party. Later, we saw that government policy favoured local production of rice.
I believe individuals and a group of persons can raise funds for a particular aspirant whom they believe is not only qualified to run for an office but could also protect their interests when such an aspirant emerges.
Suleiman Kodogi, Journalist, Minna, Niger State
It is just stage managing. I don’t believe them. They arranged behind the scenes and asked the people to come out to say that groups bought the forms for them. Not only that, some of them arrange groups of people underground to appeal to them to contest for a position and make it look as if they are not the ones seeking the position.
However, I am not surprised that some groups buy nomination forms for politicians so that at the end of the day, they would be given contracts or political appointments.
Abdulkadir Shehu Entrepreneur, Bida, Niger State
How can a group come out to pay N20 million for Atiku’s nomination form? It is a lie. They just want to deceive us so that it would be assumed that it is the citizens that persuaded them to contest. It is a set up by the contestants. Is it now that many people are in hardship and hungry and the economy is dying that a group would use N20m to buy nomination forms for politicians?
Politicians can sit in their rooms and form such pseudo groups to deceive us. Why didn’t we hear about such groups until now that elections are approaching?
From Peter Moses, Abeokuta; Mumini AbdulKareem, Ilorin; Abubakar Akote, Minna & Iniabasi Umo, Uyo