Election

21bn appeal fund not for Jonathan presidential campaign - Gana

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that the N21 billion collected at its recent fund raising was not for President Goodluck Jonathan's presidential campaign as being speculated.

Prof. Jerry Gana, Chairman PDP Fund Raising Committee and a former Minister of Information, stated this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.

He added that the money was to basically ensure the completion of the party's 12 floors National Secretariat building located at the Abuja Central Area and some of its other projects.

The briefing, Gana said, was organised to put to rest issues surrounding the N21 billion, which he said had continued to generate public debate.

"We asked you to come so that we will lay to rest matters of funds raised; the funds are not for PDP presidential campaign, it is for PDP projects.

"The money is for the party`s projects; of course campaign is one of our projects, but even if part of it would be used for campaign,
It will not be for a particular candidate, it will not be for presidential campaign,'' he said.

He, however, added that the money was essentially for the completion of the party`s 12 floors National Secretariat building.

He said the construction of the building started in 2010, abandoned for two years due to lack of funds.

The former minister, however, said the party's leadership had insisted that the building must be completed within the next 12 months.

He stressed that out of the amount raised, N10 billion would be set aside for the completion of the building, while the remaining amount would go for other PDP projects.

These, he said, would include capacity building and the strengthening of the party`s institutions across the country.

He thanked the party leadership for giving him the opportunity to be the chairman of the Fund Raising Committee and those who contributed their monies.

Gana, however, dismissed claims by the opposition that the PDP lacked capacity, stressing that it had capacity and strength in spite of what the opposition might think.

He said that Nigerians believed in the PDP as a party that had strength, integrity and capacity to move the country forward.

He further added that the party made achievements in all sectors of the country`s economy, particularly in the transport sector.

Gana said to prove that the PDP-led Federal Government had transformed all sectors of the nation`s economy, it might consider going round the country for its electioneering for the general election across the country on the railway.

He, however, added that the PDP would do a vigorous campaign in all parts of the country, including the North East in spite of acts of insurgency in the region.

He expressed optimism that the PDP would have a landslide victory over the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the general elections.

The former minister further expressed hope that Nigeria would have a free, fair and credible election.

He added that those predicting that the nation would break in 2015 would at the end of the day be disappointed.

"This is a very critical year, but by the grace of God, it will go well because we are going to campaign effectively.

"We are going to organise; we are going to direct; we are going to mobilise and we believe the election will be free, fair and credible.

"Political leaders must preach for peace and stability of the nation and not violence. We will go to the North East and all nooks and crannies of this country, including Maiduguri for our campaigns,'' he said.

He urged politicians to allow the electorate to choose their leaders, adding that Nigerians were excellent decision makers and were capable of choosing rightly.

The former minister, however, called on Nigerians to vote for the PDP and "not for a new house which may scatter in no time".

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