The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last night demonstrated why it is the largest political party in Africa as its fund raising dinner towards President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election in 2015 generated over N21 billion.
Donors at the fund raiser, which held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, included businessmen/women, multinational organizations, PDP governors and individuals.
Mr. Tunde Ayeni, who was chairman of the event, opened the set the ball rolling with a donation of N2 billionn on behalf of himself and unnamed friends while a prominent businesswoman and friend of the First Family, Hajiya Bola Shagaya and her friends donated the sum of N5 billion.
The PDP Governors Forum donated N1.05billion. Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, who spoke on behalf of the governors, said 21 governors of the party donated N50m each.
Some of the other donations on the night are: Oil and Gas sector, N5bn; Transport and Aviation, N1bn; Food and Agriculture, N500m; Power, N500m; Construction, N310m; Road Construction, N250m; those in Real Estate and Building donated N4bn; National Automotive Association, N450m; Shelter Development Limited, N250m; PDP Rivers State stakeholders, N50million; Emzor Pharmaceuticals, N50m; the NDDC governing board, N15m; auto sector, N450m and PDP youth group, N50m.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairman of the fundraiser committee and former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, who donated N5billion on behalf of himself and his friends, warned that the 2015 general elections would not be a walk over and urged the party not to underestimate their opponents.
President Goodluck Jonathan in a brief remark thanked the donors and pledged that the funds raised would be judiciously utilised.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, in his speech reiterated that “Power and glory come from God” adding that “those who have won should involve everybody in their campaigns in order to make them family campaigns”.
Present at the event were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, PDP governors, Ministers and the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Antony Anenih.
The huge donations, according to the Electoral Act, contravenes the law. Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution prohibits a State Government from contributing to the election expenses of any candidate or aspirant.
The Electoral Act Section 91 (90 of the Code of conduct for Political Parties and Elections limits individual donations and contributions to a maximum of N1m.
Also, the Electoral Act, Section 91, criminalizes contravention of limitation on election expenses. A presidential Candidate, who knowingly contravenes it, is liable to a maximum fine of N1, 000,000.00 or imprisonment for a period of 12 months or both.