Following revelations of an addendum in the All Progressives Congress’ presidential nomination and expression of interest forms titled, ‘Letter of Voluntary Withdrawal,’ stakeholders under the auspices of the APC Rebirth Group have cautioned the party against “arm-twisting” aspirants into stepping down as it did in the March 26 national convention.
This was stated in a statement on Friday by the group’s President, Aliyu Audu, titled, ‘APC Rebirth cautions party against arm-twisting aspirants, seeks definitive position on Sec. 84 (12) of amended Electoral Act.’
APC rebirth called on the party chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to review the content of the forms, saying provisions for withdrawal infringe on aspirants’ freedom.
The group said, “Concerned stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress under the umbrella of APC Rebirth Group have called on the party’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu to review some of the forms accompanying the nomination and expression of interest forms being purchased by aspirants in the party ahead of the 2023 elections.
“The Form 18, which seeks for aspirants’ voluntary withdrawal amounts to tacit coercion and violation of the freedom of aspirants to freely decide on their own. At what point, for instance, would the party activate the signed form of withdrawal by aspirants?
“Anticipated withdrawal from an election that has not yet been conducted, such as the one being solicited via Form 18, would not give aspirants the needed confidence in the process, and the party would do well not to give the impression that it is working to suppress the rights of members to a fair and transparent contest.
“While the party, through its secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, did say the signing of Form 18 was optional, the fact that such caveat was not indicated on the form makes such a claim highly suspect.”
It argued that once aspirants append their signature to the declaration page of the form, they had inadvertently validated all the information or commitments on any part of the form.