Says his strength is with ordinary Nigerians
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA — Buhari Support Organisation, BSO, the umbrella body of all support groups for the Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2015 election, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) has realised N54,415,386.70 through a crowd funding project launched by Buhari on November 19, 2014 in Abuja.
The money was meant to bankroll his election campaign.
Giving update on the activities of the group at a press conference, the APC presidential flag bearer who was flanked by Senator Olorunimbe Mamora and former FCT Minister, Malam Nasir el-Rufai said his strength was with the ordinary Nigerians.
To ensure transparency and accountability, Buhari revealed that he was a sole signatory to the account which is domiciled in FirstBank Plc.
He said: “So far, so good. We have received donation of N54,415, 386.70 through direct deposit and sales of cards to the FirstBank account number: 2026724405. As I promised during the take-off that I will take responsibility for the account, we are here today to give you an update on the progress so far.
“Currently, 82 support groups have been registered under the Buhari Support Organisations, BSO, with over 475,796 coordinators and total membership in the region of 8,492, across the length and breadth of this country.
“We intend to use the registration and donation cards to enlist the members of the groups as volunteer change agents and also capture the spatial distribution of our donors.
“Let me reiterate that the only authorised account designated for the crowd funding which I am the sole signatory to, is the BSO account with FirstBank Plc.
Continue making sacrifice
“I know we live in a difficult times in Nigeria. There is insecurity, corruption, poverty and above all the uncertainty of life as it has become unbearable. I want to appeal to all our supporters to continue making sacrifice till we get the needed change. It is a real demonstration that when people come together and put their minds to it, change is possible.
“I want to thank everyone here and outside this venue who has accepted to join us in securing Nigeria and efficiently manage our country, through your donations and support we shall continue to foster the bond of friendship and goodwill for our country.
“Thank you for supporting, encouraging and praying for the ticket of Muhammadu Buhari/Yemi Osinbajo. Your contribution so far has humbled and inspired us.”
The highpoint of the conference was the cutting of a Christmas cake by Buhari to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
My strength is with Ordinary Nigerians
Asked whether he would tow the path of President Goodluck Jonathan, who reportedly received a donation of N21 billion during a fund-raising event in Abuja last week, Buhari said it was not necessary, saying his approach was the crowd funding project where the ordinary Nigerian would need to participate.
Making allusion to United States President Barack Obama’s election, Buhari said the approach would make him more accountable to the people when voted into office next year.
“This is my approach, God knows and you know it. Go and ask my former running mate, Pastor Tunde Bakare. I heard him saying in an interview that when we started campaign with him, he never knew there was such a large number of people in the north. So my strength is mainly with the ordinary people.
“You know N100 is a lot of money for them, and I believed they will make that sacrifice especially when I told them that I’m going to sign the cheque to get even a kobo out of that amount. That is why I depend on them and we are taking this idea mainly from what happen in United States.
“When Obama came out to contest, he was a colourful person. The big companies were for him. But he knew that he needed the ground foot soldiers. So, when he came up with this idea, he was able to finance his campaign without looking for money bags or any influential person. So, he remains independent. This is what I want to achieve.
House-to-House group declare support for Buhari
Meanwhile, a solidarity group known as House-to-House Educational Initiative has pledged its support to Buhari.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, national coordinator of the group, Mr. Kunle Ehinlanwo, said members decided to support Buhari based on their conviction that he was a better candidate than President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“Our initial idea was to support the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan believing that continuity will better secure our democracy, considering the stage we are in the democratic ladder but on a deeper review and careful analysis of the situation in the country, we are not convinced with the performance of the present administration.”