2019: Cash crunch hits APC, PDP

Posted by Tunde Sulaiman, Johnson Ayantunji and Onyekachi Eze | 16 December 2018 | 1,653 times

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From all indications, campaign for the 2019 general elections will not be awash with cash as was the case in the run up to the 2015 elections. According to a Sunday Telegraph report, the campaign may be “dry”, particularly money wise.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) set the ball rolling last month when President Muhammadu Buhari launched his Next Level Campaign at the Aso Rock Villa with a lot of fanfare.

Only few weeks ago, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo joined the fray by first crisscrossing the country, handing out “trader moni” to market men and women and then becoming more formal with his door-to-door campaign which has already taken him to Abuja and Lagos.

The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, is not left out as she, on Wednesday, launched: “Together Nigeria”, where she honoured some prominent Nigerians in the entertainment industry. The award, she said was in recognition of their contributions to the development of the country.

However, it was the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) that was actually behind the awards.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) too was not left out as it flagged off its campaign with its “Getting Nigeria to Work Again” last month.

The party then kicked off its rally in Sokoto, seat of the Caliphate, before stopping over in Ilorin, Kwara State and followed it up in Ibadan, South Western part of the country early this month.

Nevertheless, after this initial flurry of campaign activities, there has been silence from both camps, which is a bit surprising, considering that the presidential poll takes place in eight weeks time.

Sunday Telegraph reports that the “pause” in both camps was actually caused by cash crunch.

“The money is not coming in as expected. By now, Atiku would have mobilised massively for the campaign, have road shows and what have you,” a source close to the campaign of the former Vice President confided in Sunday Telegraph.

It was reliably learnt that for many of those who would have come to the aid of the opposition party by donating money, the fear of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is the beginning of wisdom. “They are afraid of the EFCC coming after them.”

According to Sunday Telegraph report, a PDP governorship candidate in the South West confirmed this when he said that his friends, organisations, that believed in his cause, said: “They are afraid of being hunted and victimised by the ruling party. Most of those who would have funded our campaign are shying away from doing that.”

On the part of the APC, sources who spoke with Sunday Telegraph said that the lull in campaign is as a result of Buhari “starving” the party of funds, as he has “sworn not to use public fund for campaigns.”

Spokesperson of the APC Presidential campaign, Festus Keyamo, alluded to this when he said, “No more bazaar for election. By now, there should have been bazaars everywhere. I apologise even to the press, for the press bazaar, fortune tellers’ bazaar, women’s bazaar. But this president has calmed things down. This is a departure from the past. We should praise the president for it.”

On how the campaign would be funded in view of the President’s disposition to using government money, the APC spokesman said they would be using every legitimate means to generate the funds they would be using for the campaign.

Excerpted from a Sunday Telegraph report


Source: News Express

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