The Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, while commenting on the fees, said that the development is a huge disservice to women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs), who nurse the ambition to run for elective office in the country. According to him, it is imperative to state that this practice does not bode well for Nigeria’s fledgling democracy as it further marginalizes women and youth, two vulnerable groups who make up the largest demography in the country from participating in the political process.
“The expensive nature of Nigeria’s politics has been established to be a structural barrier to women and youth political participation, thus, it is saddening to see that political parties, which remains the primary medium for contesting elections in the country continue to perpetuate this injustice. “With the passage of the age eligibility (Not Too Young To Run) bill into law close to the 2019 general elections, it was envisaged that young people would take advantage of the Not Too Young To Run Act and contest for office en-masse in the 2023 general elections, as this would give them ample time to prepare for the elections.
“However, going by the high cost of nomination forms that have been announced so far by some political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections, it is safe to say that this is a deliberate attempt to marginalize women, youth and persons living with disabilities (PWDs) from participating in the political process as candidates in the forthcoming general elections.”