What will give ROOM for Worthy Aspirants in Nigerian Politics Today

Worthy aspirants in Nigerian Politics
Politics in Nigeria as it is today has incubated in itself several obstacles that restrict and limit the chances of participation for all and sundry; especially the youths, less privileged, and less influential. It is in light of the above, that certain campaigns have been staged as well as series of protest from all nooks and crannies of Nigeria's jurisdiction.
One of the fundamental changes expected in our political engineering is about aspirants and party nomination. Hence, the need for quality representation and leadership demands that the following should be ensured; 
  1. Aspirants are qualified by their educational status 
  2. Aspirants are not influenced by corrupt expectations but by the ability to lead effectively. 
  3. There should be a pre-political training school for any Nigerian aspiring to be a politician in the future. This will form a training hub for future sound politicians in our own battered political sensibilities that are tilted towards corruption. 
  4. Aspirants must undergo check by appropriate security agents to ensure that he/she is not with questionable character or past criminality before acceptance by electoral bodies. 
  5. Professionals should be encouraged to aspire for any political office in order not to keep our political offices in the hands of dubious and inefficient elements who aspire only to milk the economy without the value of input in it. 

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On the issues of party nomination, this has suffered greatly and is compromised on the altar of “godfatherism” and money bags. No wonder we experience terrible corruption in our political landscape. Party nomination should be made to reflect the zeal of a country that wants to grow and develop through the efforts of her leaders and not mere politicians. This could be achieved if the following can be considered; 
  1. Political parties should ensure levelled playing field in the process of nominating their candidates. 
  2. The criteria for nomination should reflect good character and attitude, with a good level of education. 
  3. Politically-mentored party members who have gone through some level of political system tutelage (like the pre-political training school or leadership training school) as mentioned earlier. 
  4. Parties should not kill qualitative candidates by demanding high fees for nomination forms. 
  5. Candidates who indicate interests within party level should be given the opportunity to address the party about their abilities for subscribing to be nominated. 
A group on Whatsapp named “Peoples Parliament” on the 9th April 2017 brought up the aforementioned topic for discussion which raised a lot of arguments among its members leading to various comments in form of correction and amendments where necessary. The discussion was kick-started by one Mr Onabanjo who stated that “if truly we want Nigeria to develop and claim her rightful position in the eyes of other nations, we must reduce the party nomination form fee to an affordable price in order to assist the less privileged exercise their constitutional civil right ”. 

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He, therefore, suggested that party nomination form fees should be reduced in contrary to the one given by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to a minimum rate: 
  • The Presidency should be reduced to N50,000.00 (Fifty thousand naira only)
  • Senate should be reduced to N45,000.00 (Forty-Five thousand naira only) 
  • Governorship should be reduced to N40,000.00 (Forty thousand naira only) 
  • House of Representative should be reduced to N30,000.00 (Thirty thousand naira only) 
  • House of Assembly should be reduced to N25,000.00 (Twenty-Five thousand naira only) 
  • Local Government Chairmanship should be reduced to N20,000.00 (Twenty thousand naira only) 
  • Councillorship should be reduced to N15,000.00 (Fifteen thousand naira only). 

Going by his suggestion, Mr Claire affirmed that there is a need for an urgent call to review the amount placed on party nomination form which will encourage the right people to emerge. But in a contrary opinion, Mr Olaniyi argued that bringing down the price to a ridiculous amount will render those offices useless to the extent that an ordinary mechanic will stand a chance to win based on the low price of the party nomination form. He added further that there will be no respect for those offices in anyway.

In another reaction from Mr Onabanjo, he stated that for the country to experience the exact change they voted for; they need to start from the nomination form and make it available and affordable for all and sundry. Due to this, the general masses will have to choose among the aspirants who they feel suit the post.

Mr Claire further agreed with Mr Onabanjo that the party nomination form should be reviewed and made available for the people with intellectual minds who are willing to drive the country to the dreamland. Placing a huge amount of money on party nomination form is a way of subjecting the masses or the less privileged to the lower ground. In order words, the amount placed on the form will only give the capitalist who owns the means of production in the society the opportunity to contest for any post since they can afford to pay the huge amount.

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Mr Onabanjo also agitates that implementation of Confab Report 2014 will drive Nigeria forward and save her from going into economic recession again. He buttressed further that even though the capitalist can still indulge themselves in using the money to buy the electorates, it will still be in the record that majority were given the privilege to exercise their constitutional civil right as good citizens.

Mr Olaniyi who suggested that it would be better if the Senate can deem it fit to use the Parliamentary power to reduce the amount based on these under-listed suggested amounts;
  1. Presidency – N5million naira
  2. Governorship – N2.5millin naira
  3. Senate – N1.5million naira
  4. House of Reps – N1million naira and below N1million should be shared among other political posts in the state and local government.
Mr Onabanjo hereby concluded that:
  1. The issues of constitutional civil right should start from the nomination form by reducing the amount to a minimum level to allow every citizen to exercise their civil right.
  2. No citizen should be deprived of contesting for any political post in-as-much-as he/she meets the criteria required by the Constitution and his political party.
  3. Restructuring the system is a way to curb and put an end to the economic recession and corruption in Nigeria if the Confab Report 2014 can be implemented.
In simplicity, all these will give room for youths participation in Nigerian politics.

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