By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organization, APCPCO, Monday, accused President Goodluck Jonathan of shifting N1 trillion from the public coffers to fund his campaigns of buying over traditional rulers and some major interest groups.
The APCPCO also said part of the money was also being used in funding what it described as the hate campaign launched against the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, General Mohammadu Buhari.
The accusation was immediately rebuffed by the Jonathan campaign yesterday which accused the Buhari campaign of being gripped with fear of losing the election.
The APCPCO regretted that President Jonathan who should ensure accelerated development of the country with its resources had gone on a wild goose chase, disparaging Buhari and squandering the resources of the nation in a bid to win the election.
Director, Media and Publicity of the Buhari campaign, Mallam Garba Shehu while asking Nigerians to think twice before voting this Saturday, said that Jonathan should have resorted to showcasing his legacies in office instead of sharing money.
“We will like to bring to your attention and that of Nigerians how the President Goodluck Jonathan led Peoples Democratic Party government is wasting one trillion Naira that belong to Nigerian people in his self-serving and desperate bid for a re-election at all cost in the midst of grinding poverty his party and government has subjected Nigerians to in the last 16 years.
“It is unconscionable and height of betrayal of public trust that a government and a President who should preside over the husbandry and judicious use of our national patrimony is superintending over its massive squander in a futile attempt to stop the idea of change. Let us sound a note of warning at this point that no amount of sponsored negative media propaganda can stop this idea whose time has come.
“The APC Presidential Campaign and the acceptability of our candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice Presidential Candidate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has become a peoples’ movement and Nigerian masses who are the drivers of change are the major stakeholders.
“A panoramic view of how much Nigeria’s resources Jonathan and PDP have laboriously and wantonly spent on print, broadcast and social media campaigns just to damage the unassailable credential of Gen Buhari’s integrity will confound any casual observer of the polity in recent times.
“An average cost of a wrap around in Tier 1 and Tier 2 newspapers in Nigeria is between N15 million to N20 million and the Jonathan campaign buys average of 5 wrap around and front pages in a day in the last 3 months coupled with the hundreds of billions that have been spent on negative TV exposures on AIT, NTA and other television and radio stations across the country.
“We had expected that a President that has spent about 6 years in office with the revenues more than what all governments before him had received will run on a record of performance rather than peddling lies and hate media campaigns that are accentuating ethnic and religious tensions in the country.”
Shehu also stated that Jonathan had spent handsomely on traditional rulers in the south west, revealing that the presidential financial train had now moved to the north.
According to him, the monies expended on PDP campaigns could provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the country.
“President Jonathan has been criss-crossing Nigeria giving an average of N50 million each to traditional rulers, most especially in the South West and the Northern parts of Nigeria. This week, the President’s campaign money is being shipped to the North.
“You will recall that a Pastor recently confirmed that N7 billion was given to Pastors to spread unfounded allegations of Islamaphobia and scare mongering against Gen Buhari and other APC leaders.
“A fraction of the trillion naira hate campaign expenditure will fund the APC programme of feeding primary school pupils in Nigeria on one nutritional meal a day, comfortably pay N5000 monthly to 25 million very poor Nigerians for a year and pay unemployment benefit for one year for graduates who can’t find gainful employment one year after NYSC which are core to the social welfare programmes of the APC Federal government Gen Buhari will lead.
Reacting to the allegations last night the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDPPCO spent over one trillion naira of Nigeria’s tax payers’ money on media and to bribe traditional rulers especially in the South West, Director, Media and Publicity, PDPPCO, Chief Femi Fani- Kayode described the APC of being gripped by the fear of losing Saturday’s general election.
Fani-Kayode who noted that very little of what APC says worries the party, said that the allegation was evident that the party has lost touch with reality.
He said, “They are afraid of losing. The president of this country does not give bribe; we do not believe that traditional rulers in this country, especially those in South West are bribe takers.
“They also said money was given to pastors. That is a lie. No pastor of the living God, no pastor worth his salt is a bribe taker.”