A presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamu Garba II, on Tuesday withdrew from the race.
Garba announced his withdrawal at a briefing in Abuja.
He attributed his decision to the high cost of obtaining APC’s expression of interest and nomination forms for presidency and cost of running for political office.
According to him, selling presidential forms at N100 million would promote commercialization of the political space.
He said his campaign team had generated N83.2 million in private and online donations, adding that the sums would be returned to the donors.
Adamu Garba also said his next political move would be announced in coming days.
According to him: “We believe this action is capable of overfinancializing our political space, institutionalizing vote-buying, encouraging corruption, and complete obliteration of the youth and the poor from participation.
“When we raised this concern on several media fora, the party, however, believed the high cost of form will separate the serious contenders from unserious ones.
“This goes contrary to our belief that you can only separate serious contenders from unserious ones by the competency, capacity, credibility, strength of the programme, workable solutions, and sellable candidate to Nigeria through rapid intraparty debates and other high-level criteria reviews that can ensure we present a better leader for future for Nigeria.
“We further discovered that even if we went ahead to obtain the form, the party has foreclosed the plan for primary election because of the presence of the request for a Letter of Voluntary withdrawal on page 18 of the nomination form.
“I cannot, in all honesty, rally funds from my supporters in the hope that we will be having a primary election, then sign a postdated letter of voluntary withdrawal from the contest.”
He insisted the ruling party had taken several steps that may likely dent its democratic credentials.
“These steps, if not changed, could reverse the gains we’ve made over time and return us back to centrist, sycophantic, patronage-driven unitary systems, a situation we have to avoid at all costs in the interest of the future of Nigeria,” he said.