Technocrat Media, Abuja
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has introduced a controversial ‘Form 18 letter of withdrawal’ which is expected to be signed by aspirants alongside their nomination forms.
The ‘Form 18 Letter of Withdrawal’ which is attached to the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms sold to aspirants to fill and submit along with other forms and their credentials is causing a growing concern amongst aspirants in the APC.
The withdrawal letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdulahi Adamu, must also be signed before a Commissioner of Oath/Public Notary before submission. Tagged Form 18,
The letter reads: “I ……… of the above address vying for ….. of ….. State, hereby voluntarily withdraw my candidacy from the contest scheduled to hold on …… of …… 2023.
“My withdrawal is in the best interest of our great party, the All Progressives Congress APC). Thank you,” the letter stated.
According to The Guardian, some of the aspirants are not comfortable with appending their signatures to the letter, which they consider a booby trap to force consensus option on them.
According to party sources, about three presidential aspirants from the South have approached their legal teams for the interpretation and implication of signing the ‘Withdrawal Form 18’ in the presence of a Commissioner of Oath, which makes it legal.
An aspirant, who has purchased the nomination form, told The Guardian: “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.”
Another source said 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.
A source within the party described the withdrawal letter as an indemnity to prevent aspirants from taking legal action against APC before or after the primaries.