The Buhari 2015 Support Group Centre on Sunday flayed the over N21.27bn donated to President Goodluck Jonathan by businessmen, multinationals and the Peoples Democratic Party governors to finance his 2015 presidential election campaign.
The group, in a statement on Sunday by its Director of Publicity, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, advised the Jonathan administration to channel the money into the nation’s electricity sector.
The group is the campaign outfit of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. But the APC will this week inaugurate a larger campaign group, which will be headed by the Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
The group said it was disgraceful for the President and his party to still be talking about improving the nation’s power sector after spending over $20bn on it.
It said, “Nigerians are worse off in terms of electricity supply than they were 15 years ago.” It added that no nation had ever moved from developing to being developed by relying on generators to power its economy.
The BSGC stressed that it was most frightening when one juxtaposes the United Nations population projection of Nigeria by year 2030 (i.e 15years from today) at about 253 million and 400 million by 2050.
“The PDP-led government will only lead Nigeria into a demographic disaster with its current failed energy policy,”
It explained that Buhari and indeed, other Nigerians were right to ask ‘‘why we are still in this epileptic electricity mess after spending well over $20bn on the power sector?’’
The group said Nigerians should be ashamed that when compared to South Africa’s 40, 000MW for a population of just 50 million, their country is still struggling to generate 4,000 MW.
It also pointed out that on per capita consumption basis, Nigeria is ranked at 178th with consumption of 106.21KWh per person, a figure that is well behind Gabon’s 283.6KWh; Cameroun’s 176.0KWh and Kenya’s 128.68KWh.
The BSGC added, “The power sector featured proudly two days ago in contributing towards Mr. President Jonathan’s re-election campaign fund.
“We would have thought such funds should have been better deployed in giving Nigerians better power supply.
“When four years ago Dr. Goodluck Jonathan said he would not run in 2015, he had then promised that ‘if voted into power within the next four years, the issue of power will become a thing of the past. Four years is enough for anyone in power to make significant improvement and if I can’t improve on power within this period it then means I cannot do anything even if I am there for another four years.”
It claimed that “the ordinary Nigerian on the street knows that he or she is not better off today with electricity supply as against four years ago when Jonathan mounted the saddle.”
But the Presidency through the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the group lacked integrity to condemn the donation.
Okupe, who spoke with one of our correspondents on the telephone added, “We knew before and everyday that the so-called Buhari group is not a serious organisation. It is made up of power-mongers with no clear objective programmes for the country.
“They have perfected the act of deception and glorified falsehood. That’s why they will say Buhari doesn’t have N1m in his account and he wants to go into a national campaign.
“He wants to get the money for campaign from corrupt politicians and people of questionable character.”
Okupe said what happened at the Presidential Villa on Saturday was normal and done everywhere in the world.
He said, “What we did is done everywhere in the world. What we did was in the open and it was in a transparent manner.
“We know for a fact that Buhari’s funds will come from dubious sources, including corrupt governors.”
On why the President would collect donations from governors, some of whom are still owing civil servants in their states , Okupe said it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
He said, “Buhari was sponsored for the APC primary by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who unashamedly brought the treasury of the state to Lagos.
“Yet, he has not paid teachers in the state for about eight months. APC should stop this pretence and put their house in order. Nigerians are tired of their propaganda.”
On the call by the BSG that the N21bn donation be spent on the power sector, Okupe disagreed, saying that the nation did not lack money to prosecute its power programmes.
The presidential aide said, “The power road map, the first of its kind in this country, is being pursued diligently and efficiently and it is being funded legitimately through the budget for the purpose of accountability.
“The nation does not lack funds for this.”