By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are currently facing serious difficulties raising funds for the 2019 election campaigns.
APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena alleged in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja that due to the stringent measures put in place by the present administration, the opposition party is in a dilemma on how to source funds to run the Atiku Presidential Campaign.
But in a swift response, the spokesman of the former vice-president Paul Ibe dismissed the APC’s insinuation, saying the coming presidential election will not be about money but the supreme will of the Nigerians people.
Ibe said: “Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. Nothing can stop the zeal of Nigerians to elect the president of their choice. This election will not be won by money or lies or propaganda or intimidation but by the supreme will of the Nigerian people as expressed in their vote.
“Atiku Abubakar will be elected as president by Nigerians in February 2019 notwithstanding the machinations of the APC-led administration.”
The deputy APC spokesman had said that available information from the PDP’s recent strategy meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) showed that there was a major setback over campaign funds, adding that Atiku’s hope of getting funds from governors was dashed.
“The presidential candidate expects the party to provide funds for his campaign. This is the Buhari era, an era of strict accountability and transparency in the use and application of public funds and not the Jonathan era in 2015 when the national treasury was opened to PDP leaders to prosecute the presidential campaign.
“The party leaders are therefore in serious difficulties and dilemma on how to source funds to run the Atiku presidential campaign. Some financiers of the party expect that the candidate, having bought the ticket with millions of dollars should have the financial capacity to run his campaign. With the candidate’s expectation that it is the party that will fund his campaign, it is now clear that they are at a crossroads and the chickens have come home to roost,” he said.
The APC chieftain said the anti-corruption agencies should gird their loins and ensure that all sources of campaign fund by the political parties are closely monitored and to recover all looted funds.
According to Nabena, such recovered funds should be applied for the benefits of the poor masses who were denied democracy benefits during the 16 years misrule of the PDP.
“It is now clear to the members of the PDP who were deceived into believing that their presidential candidate is a man of stupendous wealth that it is all a mirage, a 419 packaging and that they entered a ‘one chance’ bus.
“As we approach February 2019 when general election will be held in Nigeria, the electorate are becoming more conscious and aware of the deceitful nature of their so-called leaders. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the presidential candidate of the PDP is nationally known as a man of immense wealth. Apart from his being a retired officer of the Department of Customs & Excise not above the rank of Deputy Director, and not known to have been an exceptionally successful businessman, his claims to stupendous wealth and source are questionable and lack credibility.”
The APC deputy spokesman said the Nigerian electorate has “a better alternative to stick to the clean, honest and transparent leadership of Muhammadu Buhari GCFR who has done so much to ensure better future for them after the 16 years misrule of the PDP”.