Nigerians could not believe what they were watching on television Saturday night: in this same country, somebody was able to dash a political party N5billion! Another gave N2billion, and another N1billion. At the end of the fundraiser for that night, more than N21billion had been gathered for the ruling PDP as it prepared to fight the 2015 elections.
UPDATE: Investigations by Eyeway has revealed that the amount the party had collected, by Monday afternoon, had topped N60billion. Even on Saturday night, more than N40billion was received, but the actual figure was hidden from the public. Instead, it was announced that N21.2billion was the total sum. Many government contractors, Eyeway has learned, have been donating secretly.
That has been the trend in Africa’s “largest” economy, the world’s sixth largest producer of oil and one of the world’s most corrupt nations where over 90 per cent of the people live below poverty line. Every government in power in Nigeria turns the public treasury over to the ruling party.
Well in advance of elections, pipes used in siphoning public funds are well laid: Oil blocks are shared among the few who practically own Nigeria. Acolytes are appointed to offices in “lucrative” government agencies and ministries. Cash cow NNPC is always there for the presidency. Other party stalwarts receive grossly inflated government contracts: a road project that costs N1billion is awarded for N300billion, for instance.
At the PDP fundraiser that Saturday night, most TV watchers left their mouths open as some treasury looters were displaying their loot unencumbered by the law. There was no EFCC in sight. ICPC was nowhere to be found. Tax collectors have yet to knock on the doors of the “selfless” donors.
The Peoples Democratic Party Fundraising Dinner held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. As chairman of the occasion, Mr Tunde Ayeni announced N2bn as his own contribution. The sum, he said, included N1bn from him and his partner, and another N1bn contributed by their friends whose names he did not mention.
Heavyweights in the oil and gas sector announced a donation of N5bn; those in real estate and building donated N4bn; transport and aviation, N1bn; food and agriculture, N500m; power, N500m; construction, N310m; road construction, N250m; National Automative Association, N450m; and Shelter Development Limited, N250m.
Prof. Jerry Gana, the chairman of the fundraiser committee, also announced a donation of N5bn by his friends and associates.
Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda announced that the PDP Governors’ Forum had donated N1.05 billion: he said each of 21 of them would donate N50m.
The SIFAX Group announced N100m donation, just as PDP stakeholders in Rivers State supported Jonathan’s bid with N50m.
A total of N15 million was donated by the 15 states on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Other individuals also donated generously: some N5m, others N1m. The party is still receiving even as little as N50, 000 from party stalwarts who will be given important roles in the 2015 elections.
Questions and Answers
Questions are being asked, however: Where did Jerry Gana and “friends” get their N5billion donation from? From which account did the 21 PDP governors get their N1.05billion? What jobs did X and Y do that gave them N2billion and N1billion that they dashed their darling party?
Nigerians may never be told the answers. In any case, nobody bothers about corruption in Nigeria anymore. No less a personality than President Goodluck Jonathan has stated that stealing is not corruption.
— additional report by Ali Adoyi, @dailypostngr