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Senate committee charges N50,000 for workshop, AAC kicks

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The Senate Committee on Electoral Matters has scheduled a workshop for political parties and their candidates to hold from August 30 to 31, 2022.

In the invitation letter sent to political parties, signed by the Deputy Director, Clerk, Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Bello Babatunde, it was stated that the workshop was towards ensuring proper conduct and a free and fair election in 2023.

Meanwhile, each participant was billed to pay a sum of N50,000 for logistics such as tea break, lunch, and other logistics.

“The main aim of the sensitisation workshop is to educate critical stakeholders, including candidates and their Political Parties, the Electorates, Local Government Chief Executives and Political Office Holders, Civil Society Organisations, People Living with Disabilities, Women and Youth Groups, especially at the stale and grassroots levels on processes that will ensure a smooth run towards achieving free, fair and credible 2023 general election,” the letter read partly.

“Each participant shall pay a registration Fee of N50,000. The fee shall cover for the cost of venue, Tea Break, Lunch, Program Materials and other Logistics,” it added.

Reacting in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday, the AAC, through its National Publicity Secretary, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, decried why people had to pay to be part of a government process, adding that such action was capable of breeding corrupt political leaders.

It read partly, “The said letter insinuates that the Senate in collaboration with some “consultants” of one Global Gold Consult will be organising the one-day sensitisation event per zones and has attached a fee for registration.

“We condemn in the strongest terms this privatisation of legislative duties by the Senate Committee and the contracting of such to Global Gold Consult, which in turn then charged the sum of 50,000 naira per participant. We ask that this should be reversed immediately.”

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If the government was actually for the people, why should people pay to be part of the government process? Is there no budget already for this legislative function? Should Nigerians be denied the said knowledge, which is the duty of the Senate Committee just because they can’t afford the fee? Will such be fair and just in a supposed democracy?” the party queried, saying “actions like these are part of the processes that eventually breed corrupt political leaders in our society and we are against such.”

“Our party, the AAC is not interested in building plutocrats as politicians. If the tea and lunch are the reasons for the fee attached, our candidates who are already mobilised to attend won’t be having those.

“We urge all relevant authorities, especially the Senate to look into this matter, reverse the privatisation of their duties and do what is right for the Nigerian people,” the statement added.

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