APC, PDP deny spending N2.9b, N8.7b each for presidential election
THE ruling All progressive congress (APC) yesterday faulted the notion that it spent beyond the N1 billion campaign limit stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) .
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Timi Frank who spoke to The Guardian particularly remarked that there was no iota of truth in a recent findings on monitoring of campaign finance and use of state resources in the 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria carried out by the Centre for Social Justice [CSJ)
In a related development, the PDP had also rejected the reports alleging that the APC might have made inputs into the report and challenged CSJ the authors, to show proof that it was authentic and reliable.
The CSJ had alleged that the People Democratic Party (PDP)and the [APC] jointly spent almost N12 billion in the elections.
It noted that while the PDP spent N8.7 billion or 82 percent , the APC spent N2.9 billion representing 20 percent of the total amount at the campaigns.
However, Frank who remarked that it is public knowledge how the APC sourced it’s funds to prosecute the campaigns said it behooves on the CJS to make public how the APC voilated INEC rule on the N1 billion spending limits during the campaign for the 2015 poll.
According to him: “Well I don’t know how they got that figure that we spent more than that. If they have any evidence that we spent more than that, they should make it available. We don’t want to join any issue with any organisation because this is not the time for that. We know how we raised money for the last election.
“Nigerians know how we raised money for the election. We sold recharge cards to Nigerians who believe in our ideals and Nigerians bought a lot of these cards of as high as N1000 per card and it was public knowledge that we used such means to raise money for our campaign. We are not like the PDP which collect money from government machinery and those who benefited from their government.”
Responding to inquiries from The Guardian, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh had said: “The figure is very subjective because the authors could not show how they arrived at what they published. And I do not know how they arrived at the figure unless they got it from the APC. The authors of the figure should show proof that it is genuine.”
“Furthermore, as the spokesman of the PDP, I cannot talk on the presidential campaign funds because I was not directly involved in the management of campaigns funds at that time.”
Lead Director of CSJ, Eze Onyekpere had at a media briefing in Abuja last week added: ‘’Empirical evidence demonstrates that the ceiling of N1 billion was unrealistic and could not fund a winning presidential campaign, taking into consideration the expenses on advertisements in the media, print and electronic, bill boards, hiring of staff and equipment, transport and cost of campaigns, just to mention a few.”
CSJ however, faulted the ceiling as it could not be justified considering the land mass of Nigeria and the fact that gubernatorial candidates are entitled to spend one fifth of the sum allowed for presidential candidates who cover 36 states of the federation.
To address some of the challenges, CSJ, recommended among others, “the ceiling of N1 billion for candidates in a presidential election be upwardly reviewed to N5 billion.