How Govt officials lavished Jonathan’s over N2 trillion campaign fund

On the heels of the March 28 Presidential
election, in which President Goodluck Jonathan
lost his re-election bid, the Presidency is
reportedly going after politicians who collected
huge money but did not deliver their Local
Governments.

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On the heels of the March 28 Presidential
election, in which President Goodluck Jonathan
lost his re-election bid, Punch is authoritatively
reporting that investigation launched by the
incumbent reveals that politicians and
government officials spent millions of naira
meant for election campaigns and ‘errands’ on
luxury properties.
The President, who is said to have released over
N2 trillion in cash to campaign coordinators,
ministers, special advisers, close aides and
friends, support groups and traditional rulers, is
bothered that most of the people could not even
deliver their polling booths and l ocal
governments.
“The President was said to have been further
irked by the results of an investigation he
ordered. The probe showed that some
coordinators used campaign funds to buy very
expensive properties, especially in Abuja, and
luxury cars. Some of the funds have also been
traced to the bank accounts of senior party and
government officials who were charged with the
disbursement of funds to voters and groups,”
Punch report reads in part.
According to the report, Jonathan has also set
up a committee of five to ensure the funds are
recovered. But a source in the Presidency
however told the newspaper that, a close
associate of the President said getting the
money back would be difficult.
It also contained that funds given to traditional
rulers across the country will not be asked for,
but that the President is bent on making his
ministers, close aides and special advisers refund
the monies collected.
The source said; “Some ministers did not get
less than N20bn each. None of them can deny it
because this fact isn’t hidden within government
circles. The only problem with such monies is
that there is no receipt to show that they
collected money. The sad part is that almost all
of them performed woefully. Even in the states
where the PDP won, some ministers could not
deliver 100,000 votes. They could not mobilise
their people to come out. The President is not
happy. They all went property and car shopping.
This was the most expensive election in the
history of this country, yet there was no result.
“The sad part was that even after the President
lost on March 28, more money was given to all
of them to make up for the dismal outing by
winning their states during the April 11 elections.
But that turned out to be a bad decision because
apart from losing the governorship election, we
didn’t perform well at the National Assembly and
House of Representatives polls.
“They must give an account of the money since
they didn’t use it for the election. The President
is not particular about the funds spent on
genuine campaign needs like the hiring of jets,
advertisements and the rest that also cost
billions of naira. His focus is on the individuals
that collected billions to deliver their states but
couldn’t even win their polling booths.”
According to Punch , apart from the N20 billion
given to some key ministers and senior special
advisers, especially in states where the PDP
hoped to capture from the opposition All
Progressives Congress (APC), some pro-
Jonathan support groups received about N16bn.
Confirming the cash distribution, a senior
member of the PDP also told the newspaper that
“Lagos was a show of shame.”
The insider said; “A few days to the governorship
poll, about $150m was received in cash by about
five top campaign coordinators. But they failed
again, even more than we did in the presidential
poll because we lost some areas we won on
March 28 to the APC on April 11. They were to
share this money to the local governments and
the masses.
“Please understand me, I am saying that the
sum of $150m was just for the governorship
election in Lagos. We are not talking about the
sums they got for the presidential election. Only
one out of the five people that shared the money
gave some of it to local government chairmen.
This person disbursed about N2bn. The rest of
them sat on the money.
“The coordinator that collected the sum of $50m
later went to a Federal Government agency and
complained of not having enough funds for the
election and got an additional $20m. The story
is the same in almost all the South-West
especially Oyo, Osun, and the northern states. A
female minister from the North, who got the
highest amount of funds for that region, lost her
state in a shameful manner.”
However, the National Publicity Secretary of the
PDP, Olisa Metuh, distanced the party from the
cash disbursement.
“The national leadership of the PDP is not aware
of any campaign fund. We were not part of it
and therefore we can’t be asked to account for
what we didn’t know anything about,” he
said. “There was a campaign committee and only
the committee is in the position to account for
any fund.”
The committee set up to retrieve the monies has
been said to be unsuccessful so far, as the
beneficiaries are not cooperating.
The President is reportedly focusing on the
South-West and northern states.

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