2023: Saraki-led committee recommends fee waiver for PDP aspirants under 35
The former Senate President Bukola Saraki-led National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee (NRSC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has recommended that any aspirant seeking to contest for elective position on the platform of the party who is under the age of 35 years should be exempted from the payment of nomination fees.
The recommendation is contained in a letter by the chairman of the committee dated March 25, 2021, to the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.
The NRSC also requested the NWC to immediately recommend to the National Executive Committee (NEC), the party’s highest decision-making body, that the party constitution be amended to the effect that “only persons not less than 18 years old and not more than 35 years can contest for the position of Youth Leader at all levels of the party structure – wards, local government, state and national.”
According to the committee, the recommendation came as a result of the meeting it held with the party’s National Youth Leader and other youth leaders across the 36 states of the nation on March 9th, 2021 “in furtherance of its mandate to resolve disputes, reconcile aggrieved members and foster cohesion and unity within the party.”
The committee informed that the youths presented some requests during the meeting and the demands were deliberated upon by the committee on March 22nd, 2021 following which the two-point recommendations contained in the letter were agreed upon.
The committee explained that implication of the recommendation on waiver of the nomination fees for youths aspiring to various offices is that where the party guidelines for instance demand that a gubernatorial aspirant pay N20 million for nomination form and N1m for Expression of Interest form, any aspirant below the age of 35 years, will get the nomination form at no cost while they only pay the N1m Expression of Interest fee.
The idea of the waiver is to relive the young members of the financial burden that normally prevent them for actualizing their elective aspirations under the former ruling party.