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PDP leaders fight over N6b nomination fee

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The relationship between the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some of the party's state chapters has gone sour following the refusal by the former to remit part of the funds realised from the sale of nomination forms to the states.

The state chapters are grumbling that the national leadership reduced the amount due to them in contravention of the 2010 Electoral guidelines drawn by the party.

Section 55 of the Electoral guidelines for primary Elections 2010 of PDP states that: "15 percent of the nomination fee shall be remitted to the state chapters of the party and 5 percent to the zone".

The party's national secretariat realised about N6 billion from the sale of the nomination and expression of interest forms to members of the party late last year. The forms were sold to presidential, governorship, national and state assembly aspirants.

Each of the presidential aspirants paid N11 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms while the governorship aspirants paid N5.5 million. Each of the senatorial, House of Representatives and state assembly aspirants paid N2.2 million, N1.2 million and N600,000.00, respectively. Women aspirants paid for the nomination form only.

But the leadership of some of the state chapters of the ruling party are up in arms against the national leadership for refusing to pay them the expected N1.2 billion realised from the exercise.

Hide and seek
Some of the chairmen, who did not want to be named, confirmed to journalists in Abuja yesterday that the national leadership has been playing hide and seek on the matter eight months after the sale of the forms.

A particular chairman of the party from the south west geo-political zone disclosed yesterday that though the national leadership had finally agreed to pay up, it was merely paying N3 million. "They told us at a meeting with us recently that we will only be paid 10 percent and that the ten percent amount to N3 million per state," he said.

"Meanwhile, nobody told us the total amount that was realised from the sales of these forms. Even the N3 million they have promised, they have refused to remit it to us up till now."

The chairman explained that the issue of nomination fee was derived from Article 12.72(j) and 17.1 and 2 of the constitution of the party which mandated the National Executive Committee to issue the guidelines for the conduct of primaries and wondered why the party national leadership "would shift the goalpost in the middle of the game."

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Ahmed Rufai Alkali could not be reached on his mobile phone for reaction yesterday.

Courtesy 234Next