The Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his cabinet members and other appointees contesting elective political positions in the 2023 elections to resign immediately.
ZLP, at its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, said it is immoral for the government appointees to remain in their current offices while seeking elective offices.
The opposition party also criticised the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for charging exorbitant nomination fees, adding that it would serve as an incentive for those who eventually assume office to steal.
ZLP national chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu, who presided over the meeting, said it was sad that the president has remained silent over the refusal of his ministers and other appointees contesting elections to resign.
Nwanyanwu said the “ NEC (ZLP) condemns the president’s silence on the appointees in his government who are seeking elective offices. It is absurd. It has not happened in our history. It raises a morality question and ZLP believes that there should be moral content in our politics. President Muhammadu Buhari this is not right.
“The NEC therefore calls on the president to direct all those who have indicated interest to run to resign immediately. It shouldn’t be happening under his watch.
“This is not right. It should not be accepted by you. Act as we know you to by directing them to resign their position and go contest the positions they want. This is the position of most Nigerians. It is not right and we should not allow it to be a part of our political culture,” he said.
While also decrying the high fees charged by the two main parties for nomination forms, ZLP party chairman said it is a money making venture by the party leadership which has excluded youths and women from participating in the forthcoming elections.
Calling on the leadership of both parties to review their fees, Nwanyanwu specifically lambasted the APC for attempting to justify the N100 million fee, noting that the current chairman paid five million naira back in 1999 when he picked governorship forms on PDP’s platform.
He also berated the president’s silence over the matter adding that it was wrong for him to allow the fixing of such a high price having criticised such a situation in a previous election cycle.
“NEC condemns in strongest terms the high nomination fees charged by the APC and PDP. We urged them to revisit and reverse the fees.
“Somebody wants to contest for the office of president, you are charging him N100 million whereas he won’t earn up to 40m in office. That is an encouragement to steal while in office,” he said.
He however urged youths and women to secure ZLP forms, adding that the party deliberately made its forms affordable for them as part of measures to ensure inclusivity.
“You cannot shut the youths and women out. We have been calling on youths and women to come and use this opportunity provided by ZLP. Don’t be an internet tiger, come and join our party and get forms. The good thing is that young people have been joining our party.”
He however added, “What will happen in 2023 is in the hands of the youths who should come and exercise their franchise. If the youths and women fail to take their destiny in their hands in 2023, they should never complain again.”