President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection bid received a major boost on Saturday, as businessmen, multinational organisations, interest groups and individuals donated the sum of N21.27bn to support his campaign for the 2015 presidential election.
The naira rain was at the Peoples Democratic Party Fund Raising Dinner held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The chairman of the occasion, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, set the ball rolling, when he announced a donation of N2bn.
He said the sum consisted of N1bn donated by him and his partner, and another N1bn contributed by their unnamed friends.
Players 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.
The Chairman of the fundraiser committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, said his friends and associates in the power sector were donating N5bn.
The PDP Governors Forum announced a total donation of N1.05billion.
The Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, who spoke on behalf of the PDP governors, said each 21 of them would donate N50m each.
The SIFAX Group announced N100m donation, while PDP stakeholders in Rivers State supported Jonathan’s bid with N50m.
The 15 states on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission donated a total of N15million, among other donations.
Several private individuals also gave donations.
Mr. Joseph Makanju, representative of the Chief Fund Raiser and Chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said his principal, who was outside the country, did not leave a mandate.
He, however, promised that as soon as Dangote returned to the country, he would personally see the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’Azu, to offer his support.
Makanju assured those at the event that his principal would justify his position as the Chief Fund Raiser with his donation.
Donation pledge forms were made available to guests at the event for personal donations.
Jonathan, in his remarks, described Saturday as a special day, due to the fundraiser. He thanked the donors, while assuring them that the funds would not be wasted or misused.
“I thank everyone who made donation tonight,” said Jonathan.
The President stated that the money was for the PDP, stressing that the amounted generated would help to run the PDP better.
‘2015 elections will be competitive’
Gana admitted that the 2015 general elections would be keenly contested.
He warned the leadership of the party, which has President Goodluck Jonathan as its presidential candidate, not to underestimate their opponents.
Gana, a former Minister of Information, said the coming elections would be competitive because it is going to be more of a two-party contest.
He said, “Therefore, the PDP must not take things for granted. We must campaign very well. We must not underestimate the opponent. Because we have been in power for 16 years, we are at a disadvantage. We need to spread the message of our achievements diligently.
“The campaign should be issues-driven. While the other side will be talking of theory, we shall be showing what we have done.”
Gana, also, warned the party’s leaders to ensure that PDP candidates at all levels are good ones.
He stated that serious work must be done in states where the party primaries had caused rancour among members.
He also warned the leaders against the imposition of unpopular candidates.
Mu’azu seals fate of losers at primaries
The National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, sealed the fate of aspirants who lost at the party’s primaries at all levels.
Mu’azu said, “Power and glory come from God and nobody else. Those who have won should involve everybody in their campaigns in order to make them family campaigns.
“For the losers, I pray for you that God will answer you at a later date. Join us to campaign for all our candidates at all levels to have success.”