APC and PDP refuse to disclose sources of campaign funding

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• Tinubu and Atiku campaigns urge Nigerians to be patient

Eighteen days before the start of the presidential campaigns, the sources of funding for the campaign activities of the main candidates remain a mystery as they have refused to disclose how they will raise funds to sell their programs to the electorate.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission calendar, campaigns for next year’s presidential election will begin on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

Presidential campaigns in the country usually involve a lot of logistics, such as candidates and party officials traveling to all state capitals to address rallies, where they sell their manifestos, mobilizing supporters for such gatherings, buying vehicles, printing souvenirs like T-shirts and fez. caps as well as posters, placing advertisements in newspapers, online media, television and radio stations, among others.

Section 88 of the Elections Act 2022 sets the amount a presidential candidate can spend to pursue an election at 5 billion naira, while the sum an individual or entity can give to the candidate is 50 million naira.

However, responding to Saturday PUNCH’s inquiries about sources of funding for the 2023 presidential election, All Progressives Congressional Presidential Campaign Council Director of Media and Publicity Bayo Onanuga said the strategy of the party candidate to raise funds for his campaign was not for media consumption.

He said, “Why should we discuss this in the pages of the newspapers? I can not say anything. You will have to wait for a fundraising committee to be set up. Our Presidential Campaign Council leadership does not handle all issues.

“But when the members of the fundraising committee join you, you will know who to ask this question. Until that’s done, we can’t tell you how we hope to fundraise.

Homemade Tinubu – Shittu

Furthermore, the director general of the Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance, Adebayo Shittu, argued that the plan of the candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to raise a budget for his presidential campaign should not be a topic of speech. or the matter of the public. .

The former communications minister noted that its director “is a self-made man who does not need external funding for electoral activities”.

Shittu said: “This was evident long before he became Governor of Lagos State when he supported human rights organizations and several freedom fighters everywhere. We will not allow anything illegal to be done in our name. Even if you are going out to fundraise, there are positions of the law that must be adhered to. Anyone attempting to do so should consult the law first.

“Asiwaju has the resources and can also count on many other men of good will to support him. As you must have known, several people came willingly to ask how they could help with his campaign.

“I have been running this campaign for a while now without demanding a single kobo from anyone. It’s been my brains, my efforts, and my money along the way. I have also seen several people do the same across the country.

Asked to confirm reports that some governors and members of the National Assembly may be up for the campaign, Shittu argued that it was speculation “in the figment of the imagination of those who have it.” done”.

Atiku Campaign Structure

Responding to questions about how Peoples’ Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar would fund his election, Atiku Campaign Council spokesman Daniel Bwala said: “Any questions you ask should be addressed to INEC, because the law only requires us to give reports to INEC on the questions you ask.

Pushed further, he said, “Can a candidate fund an election without a campaign structure? Has the campaign structure been announced? When we get to the bridge, we will cross it; how do you want us to raise funds? I think we’ll have to wait until the campaign structure is out; then you can ask questions related to the campaign, because it is the structure of the campaign that sees our budget. To cross a bridge, you must arrive at the bridge before crossing it.

But Atiku’s media adviser, Paul Ibe, said its manager would fundraise in accordance with the constitution.

Ibe said, “Atiku Abubakar will raise his campaign funds in accordance with the country’s constitution and legal provisions. He won’t go outside of that; you can be sure.

“Atiku will not collect its funds in any form that is illegal or in violation of the constitutional provision. It will comply with all provisions of the electoral law and the constitution regarding fundraising for the campaign; anything the law forbids he will not do.

Obi’s funding

Peter Obi Support Network spokesperson Onwuasoanya Jones said Nigerians had started donating to the political movement ‘Obidient’ to fulfill the presidential ambition of Labor Party candidate Peter Obi.

He added that the candidate would not spend up to 5 billion naira stipulated by the electoral law for the 2023 elections.

Asked how much the LP standard bearer was hoping to raise, Jones said his supporters were targeting N1bn.

He said: “Peter Obi is a wealthy man, with every sense of modesty. If he was interested in the rampant acquisition of wealth, he would not be looking for $150 million or 1 billion naira, which I learned that the various support groups have pledged to contribute to his campaign. He is much richer than that.

“For the record, Peter Obi is not involved in any fundraising and he will not control how one naira of anything done is spent. It is money contributed by the many support groups that defend his candidacy.

When asked how much has been collected so far, the Obi campaigner said: ‘I can’t tell you how much has been done because I’m not in charge of collection and the groups manage their programs regardless of POSN and the Peter Obi team. , but I can tell you that if Nigerians are to contribute N100tn to make Peter Obi President, millions of Nigerians including the poorest of the poor are ready to put their savings to achieve the presidency of Peter Obi, as they see it as an investment in a better future for themselves and their children.

Similarly, Women for Peter Obi leader Ebere Obiesie said the group’s campaign budget was not ready due to the aggressive grassroots mobilization project underway.

She explained that there are different components of a political campaign budget, adding that the WPO took care to select expenses that were essential to help it run a successful campaign.

She said: “Hopefully we should have a workable overall budget before the campaigns start. We have assembled a smart team from the relevant units of our organization – finance and accounting, planning and strategy, and mobilization and logistics – who have developed a strong fundraising framework for our campaign and grassroots mobilization. Several strategies will be deployed for our fundraising.

Obiesie said the WPO was considering the option of a special dinner to raise funds to boost Obi’s campaign, but would not take from governors and politicians.

She added, “Women are happy to contribute their N1,000, N3,000, N5,000, N20,000, N100,000, etc. in this “Obidient” movement. Never before has anyone witnessed such a level of determination and commitment from Nigerians, especially women. It’s just amazing.

“Nevertheless, we are open to strategic partnership with credible aspirants on this very important project of rescuing Nigeria from bad leadership and electing transformational leaders across the spectrum of political leadership. The goal is to achieve as many voters as possible with our persuasive “from consumption to production” message to get them to vote for our candidates.

“We have the WPO diaspora across North America, the UK and Europe. They play different roles especially in data management, research, strategy and engagement with their friends and families in Nigeria. The WPO’s diaspora support base is strong and growing. »

The group tackles Shittu

Shittu, however, said the LP presidential candidate would soon have trouble with his obsession with fundraising from Nigerians in the diaspora.

“If Obi tries, he will be breaking the law. Any attempt to bring money raised by people from the Diaspora into Nigeria will result in him burning his fingers. People who know him very well have said that he does not had no intention of bringing money to Nigeria for any campaign, he just wants to defraud people and divert those resources to invest more in his businesses,” Shittu said.

Responding to the allegation, Jones said: “Adebayo Shittu is apparently nervous about Peter Obi’s unassailable acceptability across Nigeria. So, like other campaign setters, he will rather throw mud than look for strategic ways to compete with the people’s president.

“Peter Obi was chairman of Fidelity Bank at a time when a lot of attention was being paid to the banking industry, and we know how many bank chief executives have been sent to jail for allegations of fraud and acerbic practices, but not even one day was Peter Obi invited to be interviewed by any agency in this country.

“Peter Obi served as Governor of Anambra State for eight years and on the platform of an opposition party. Not a penny of Anambra money has been stolen or misappropriated. So what is he going to do with the money brought in by Nigerians abroad in search of a better country? »

Srally safety

Meanwhile, the Force’s public relations officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said police would provide security at campaign rallies.

He said presidential candidates were constitutionally entitled to police guards, adding that as former governors and former vice presidents, they were entitled to personal security.

Adejobi said: “Presidential candidates are entitled, in accordance with the provisions of the law, to police security. Every former president, vice president and governor has the right to have security around them. Thus, due to their personality and social status, they already have police officers and other security agents attached to them.

“There are also provisions to ensure the safety of VVIPs, whether in politics, business or royalty, and the diplomatic corps, and for those who apply, the police will assess their applications and deal with them accordingly.”

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