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

In the letter of invitation to political parties, signed by the Deputy Director, Registrar, Senate Committee on Election Affairs, Bello Babatunde, obtained by The PUNCHit was stated that the workshop was aimed at ensuring good behavior and free and fair elections in 2023.

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

“The main aim of the awareness workshop is to educate critical stakeholders, including candidates and their political parties, the voters, local government leaders and political office holders, civil society organisations, people with disabilities, women’s and youth groups, especially at the old and grassroots levels about processes to ensure smooth progress towards achieving free, fair and credible 2023 general elections,” the letter read in part.

“Each participant pays a registration fee of N50,000. The fee covers the cost of venue, tea break, lunch, program materials and other logistics,” it added.

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Respond in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Sunday, the AAC, through its national publicity secretary, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, condemned why people had to pay to be part of a government process, adding that such action could breed corrupt political leaders.

It read in part: “The said letter insinuates that the Senate in conjunction with some “advisers” from one Global Gold Consult will organize the one-day awareness event per zone and has attached a fee for registration.

“We condemn in the strongest terms this privatization of legislative functions by the Senate Committee and its outsourcing to Global Gold Consult, which in turn charged a fee of 50,000 naira per participant. We ask that this be reversed immediately.”

If government was really there for the people, why would people pay to be part of the government process? Is there already no budget for this legislative function? Should Nigerians be denied the said knowledge which is the duty of the Senate committee just because they cannot afford the fee? Will that be fair and just in a supposed democracy?” the party asked, saying “actions like this are part of the processes that ultimately produce corrupt political leaders in our society and we are against it.”

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“Our party, the AAC, is not interested in building plutocrats as politicians. If the tea and lunch are the reasons for the attached fee, our candidates already mobilized to attend will not have.

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

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