|File Photo: President Goodluck Jonathan displaying Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms at the People’s Democratic Party’s Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday (30/10/14).|
ABUJA — THE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has washed its hands off the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the last presidential election, blaming it on what it described as the tactlessness of the President’s hand-picked campaign team led by Dr. Ahmadu Ali.
The party directly blamed the hate campaign launched against the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for the defeat.
The National Working Committee, NWC, of the party also, yesterday, dismissed reports of profiting from the N9 billion raised for the party’s campaigns, affirming its readiness to defend the N30 million paid to each NWC member which it claimed was approved by the President.
Contacted on the development, spokesman of the Presidential Campaign Organisation, PCO, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, promised to comment on the issues today.
Addressing journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, while exonerating the party from Jonathan’s failure, traced the defeat to the exclusion of the party and its leadership from running of the campaign. Metuh said even advice was ignored by those that ran the campaign.
Blames PDP’s failure on hate campaign against Buhari
Metuh particularly blamed the hate campaign by the Presidential Campaign Committee which resulted in the failure of the party, saying members of the NWC did not play any significant part in the 2015 presidential campaign of the party.
He said the abysmal performance of the party in the North was a result of the hate campaign adopted and executed by the party’s PCO against the APC and its presidential candidate, Buhari.
The denial follows recent reports of pressure on the NWC to resign from office on account of the loss of the presidency to the APC.
Jonathan failed because party was not carried along
Denying the culpability of the party leadership, Metuh said:
“We did not lead the party to failure, we were not involved in the campaigns and our advice was ignored. If we had handled the campaign, Mr. President would have won the election. We cannot be held responsible when our advice was ignored.”
Noting the issue of the hate campaign against Buhari, he said:
“Let me say this. In 2003, President Obasanjo ran an election against Odumegwu-Ojukwu in the South-East. In 2007, Yar’Adua ran election against Ojukwu. I can tell you, if PDP had engaged in name calling or abused Ojukwu in any way, PDP would have lost the elections in the South-East.”
Reacting to an online report that NWC members shared part of the presidential campaign funds among themselves, he said the NWC was never involved in the disbursement of campaign funds as he revealed that the party spent over N4 billion to sponsor their candidates in the presidential, governorship, National Assembly and Houses of Assembly elections.
N9bn generated from sale of expression of interest and nomination forms
According to Metuh, the party generated about N9 billion from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms from aspirants to various offices on the platform of the party for the 2015 elections.
He said the party, out of the money generated, donated N500 million to the presidential campaign fund last December and gave out N100 million to each of the 29 gubernatorial candidates on the April 11 governorship election.
According to him, “we sponsored our House of Assembly candidates. The money was passed through the governors or through ministers and gubernatorial candidates in states where PDP has no sitting governor.”
Metuh, who disclosed that the party got approval from President Jonathan for all the expenditures, expressed the readiness of the NWC to make public its account, saying:
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that this national leadership has remained very transparent in all its dealings since coming into office.
“No NWC member has been involved in any way in any sleaze or embezzlement of party funds.
Also, no member of the NWC has ever been accused of embezzlement of funds in any ministry, department or agencies of government at any level whatsoever.”
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