Buhari, Jonathan blew N11.7bn on presidential poll –Group - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Wednesday 4 November 2015

Buhari, Jonathan blew N11.7bn on presidential poll –Group

Buhari, Jonathan blew N11.7bn on presidential poll –Group

Fresh facts emerged yesterday over how much the two main political parties and their presidential candidates spent during this year’s election. The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Dr Goodluck Jonathan spent N11.7 billion.

Briefing journalists in Abuja on its findings of the ‘Monitoring of Campaign Finance and Use of State Administrative Resources for the 2015 Presidential Election,” yesterday, the Centre for Social Justice, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), also said while the APC candidate spent N2.915 billion, former President Jonathan spent N8.749 billion on campaigns expenses.

The NGO Lead Director, Eze Onyekpere, had while releasing the campaign expenses, noted that rallies/campaigns, billboards, media campaign, electronic media advertisements and print media campaigns accounted for the expenses. He said Jonathan spent N1.280 billion on rallies against the N671.062 million by President Buhari.

He said the amount Buhari spent on electronic media and print advertisements, totalling N1.064 billion and N579.647 million was far much less than the N3.988 billion and N2.475 billion Jonathan spent for the same purposes.

The NGO also claimed that Jonathan equally spent more than Buhari on billboards and media campaigns, arguing that while the latter spent N190.380 million and N410.050 million respectively, Jonathan spent N473.160 million and N532.100 million for the same purposes.

In its remarks on major findings, the NGO noted: “Money and administrative resources played an enhanced role in the 2015 presidential election. The poll appears to have been the most costly and keenly contested since the return to civil rule in 1999. The expenditure ceiling of one billion naira was largely ignored by the candidates whilst administrative resources were deployed by the two major contenders.

“Public financial resources were deployed in the election by the two political parties and candidates. The link between the rundown finances of states and the Federal Government, the inability to pay workers’ salaries at the state level and the 2015 elections was very clear.

“The context of the coming together of the opposition to form the APC which squared up against the PDP candidate provided a near level playing field in terms of access to resources for the candidates.

“Empirical evidence demonstrates that the celling of N1 billion was unrealistic and could not fund a winning presidential campaign, taking into consideration the expenses on advertisements in the media, hiring of staff and equipment, transport and cost of campaigns, etc,” the group noted.

“There is no justification for the ceiling 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.

“The ceiling has been static for a number of years when the currency has been directly and indirectly devalued. The ceiling fails to respond to changes in the nation’s economic circumstances,” the Centre for Social Justice said.

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