PDP Raises N21 Billion for Jonathan’s Re-election Bid

By Adedayo Ogunleye, Abuja

The People’s Democratic Party PDP, in a test of financial strength, on Saturday raised N21 billion towards President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid in the forthcoming general elections in 2015.

The money was raised through donations from PDP governors, politicians, business tycoons and industry captains who gathered at a fund-raising dinner which was held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, in Abuja.

Present at the event were President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, PDP governors, ministers, PDP national chairman, Adamu Muazu , and the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, chairman, Anthony Anenih.

Although billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, who was billed to be the chief launcher, was conspicuously absent, other financial heavyweights present at the event include Tunde Ayeni, Bola Shagaya, Didi Ndimou, Oluchi Okoye, Ominife Uzoegbu, and Halima Jubril.

Speaking at the event, the chairman of the fund-raising committee, Jerry Gana, who donated 5 billion naira on behalf of his friends, cautioned the party not to under-estimate the frontline opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, which he said would contest the elections very keenly.

“Let me use this opportunity to say that the forthcoming general election is essentially going to be a two-party affair. It will be very competitive,” he said.

Gana said the PDP’s strength lies in the fact that it had a good and credible candidate in President Goodluck Jonathan.

Stressing that the recently held primaries across the nation had generated disaffection in some states, Gana warned the party’s leadership against imposing unpopular candidates on Nigerians.

“I must tell you that we have serious challenges and difficulties in a number of states arising from the primaries. I want to appeal that our party’s leadership must not impose unpopular candidates on the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Gana cautioned.

Ayeni, who was the first donor at the event, contributed N1 billion to the campaign war chest on behalf of himself and an unnamed group of friends. He also announced the donation of another N2 billion on behalf of a different group of unnamed friends whom he said are from across the country.

Ayeni, a lawyer, is chairman of Sky Bank and recently led the consortium, NATCOM Communications, which emerged the sole bidder for the national carriers, Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, NITEL and Mtel.

He also has significant interests in the power sector and in 2013, through Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company, purchased the electricity distribution companies in Ibadan and Yola.

Shagaya, also a big player in the oil and gas industry and Africa’s richest woman, who represented the oil and gas industry, donated N5 billion while N310 million was pledged by the construction sector.

The National Association of Stevedores’ Companies donated N25 million while a former governor of Ebonyi State Sam Egwu contributed N1 million.

Businesswoman Halima Jubril donated N5 million while an Abuja hotel, Ajuji Best Western Hotel donated N1 million and Cizaly Ltd donated N250 million.

Other huge donations came in from the chairman of Deep Offshore, Didi Ndimou, representative of the transport and aviation sectors,  donated N1 billion while the real estate sector, represented by Oluchi Okoye, donated N4 billion.

Ominife Uzoegbu, who represented the food and agricultural sector at the event donated N500 million.

The Bauchi State governor, Isa Yuguda, who represented the PDP Governor’s Forum announced a donation of N50 million by each of the 21 PDP state governors, making a total N1.05 billion.






     

     

    The entire fund raising exercise has been criticised as several individuals in their donations have run afoul of the electoral law. This is particularly true of the donations by state governors and many people who made contributions for groups of friends without giving details of who they are and how much each individual member gave.

    The governors’ donations are clearly a contravention of provisions concerning fund-raising for electoral purposes.

    Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits a state government from contributing to the election expenses of any candidate or aspirant.

    The Electoral Act Section 91 limits individual donations and contributions to a maximum of N1m and criminalizes any contravention.

     

     

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