The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has directed its presidential aspirants to sign Form 18 attached to the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms.
Naija News reports that the controversial form is tagged ‘Letter of Withdrawal’ and attached to the presidential form sold to the aspirants for N100 million.
According to The Guardian, the APC said the withdrawal letter must be signed before a Commissioner of Oath/Public Notary before its submission to the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdulahi Adamu.
The party added that the controversial letter must be duly signed along with other forms and their credentials and sent to the office of the APC National Chairman at its National Secretariat in Abuja.
The letter tagged Form 18 states: “I hereby voluntarily withdraw my candidacy from the contest. My withdrawal is in the best interest of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.”
It was learned that some of the presidential aspirants are not happy with the party’s directive and are not ready to sign the controversial form, which they think is a plan to force a consensus option on them.
About three presidential aspirants from the South are said to have approached their legal teams for the interpretation and implication of signing the withdrawal form in the presence of a Commissioner of Oath.
While two aspirants are still waiting for the positions of their legal teams, the other was said to have vowed not to sign such a form and will exclude the controversial Form 18 from other documents to be returned to the National Secretariat of the party for submission.
An aspirant, who has purchased the nomination form, told The Guardian that: “This is the first time we are seeing this kind of form for aspirants and we see it as an attempt to enforce consensus option through the back door. This is unconstitutional.
“Signing that letter means the party leaders can impose any candidate and you will not have any right to challenge them in court. Something is fishy and we must be very careful because there are surreptitious moves not to allow delegates to decide the fate of aspirants.”
A party source told the newspaper that it is only political appointees that could sign such a form, because their appointment is at the mercy of the President or governor, but not an aspirant.
While another party chieftain described the withdrawal letter as an indemnity to prevent members from taking legal action against the party.
This article was originally published on Nigeria News