As the 2023 general elections continue to gather momentum, the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has reportedly instructed the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), National Working Committee, not to sell expression of Interest and nomination forms to any aspirants from the state without his clearance, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, PDP had last week announced the sales of forms for aspirants vying for elective positions.
The amounts for the forms were approved by the party’s National Executive Committee, (NEC), and pegged as follows:
“State House of Assembly -Expression of Interest at N100,000 and Nomination Form at N500,000. House of Representatives- Expression of Interest -N500,000; Nomination Form-N2,000,000. For the Senate: Expression of Interest -N500,000, Nomination Form N3,000,000. Governorship – expression of interest – N1,000,000, while Nomination Form is N20,000,000. President- Expression of Interest form – N5,000,000 and nomination form – N35,000,000.”
NEC also approved a 50 per cent reduction in nomination fees for youth of age 25 years to 30 years for various elective positions.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, an aspirant for the House of Representatives who pleaded not to be mentioned for fear of being sanctioned disclosed that he was denied the expression of interest and nomination forms at the party’s headquarters, Abuja when he went for the procurement of the forms.
The victim added that the party was obeying Governor Okowa’s instructions not sell forms to any aspirants from the state without his clearance.
“Can you imagine, for good two days now I am still in Abuja just to purchase my expression of interest and nomination forms and I am being denied that I must get clearance from my state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa? They said that there’s a standing order that aspirants without the governor’s clearance should be denied the forms. Is this democracy or what? As I talk to you, there are so many PDP aspirants who came for the forms who have been denied because of the governor’s orders to the party here in Abuja.”
Another source said, “Some of the aspirants who have been lucky to buy theirs went through long connections and sidestepped the governor’s orders. Aspirants for House of Representatives, Senate and governorship who came to purchase their forms are stranded here in Abuja as they were denied the forms. Even we were also told that the governor of Akwa-Ibom state, Emmanuel Udom, gave such an order to the party in Abuja.”
SaharaReporters reliably gathered that some crooks in the party outside the official price disclosed for the forms through bank draft, also extorted the aspirants.
They are made to part with N200,000, N400,000, N1million and N5million cash as the case may be depending the position you are vying for while female aspirants paid half those amounts.
When contacted as at the time of filling this report, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s Chief Press Secretary, (CPS), Olise Ifeajika, denied that the governor gave such orders.
“The Party is supreme; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa I know cannot give such instructions. People are free to get their forms. He cannot say such a thing,” he said.