Controversy has continued to trail the two trillion naira which President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly spent on electioneering campaigns for his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the recently-concluded general elections.
According to a report published by Punch newspapers over the weekend, Jonathan was concerned about how campaign funds were spent without the desired outcome at the polls and is, therefore, seeking refunds of the monies.
The Punch report also claimed that the president has set up a five-person committee to get those with those with the funds to return them.
Sources within the party and the government cited in the report say that the president was disturbed that despite giving campaign coordinators, ministers, special advisers, close aides and friends, support groups and traditional rulers over N2 trillion in cash, most of them could not deliver their polling booths and local governments to the party.
A reliable source close to the president said that one of the President’s men, who recently admitted to a few close aides that it would be difficult to retrieve all the funds, was bent on getting senior party and government officials, who received funds to account for all monies collected.
The source said monies given to traditional rulers in different parts of the country, for example, would not be demanded, but added that the President was determined to get his ministers, close aides and special advisers to make refunds.
However, in reaction, the president has denied the allegation. According to the president’s mouthpiece, Reuben Abati, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, the president, contrary to the report, did not set up any probe committee. In his words, “the president has not set up any committee as alleged in that story.”
Continuing, he said: “It is also not true that the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) used state funds, or spent 2 trillion during the campaigns.” In spite of the denial, outrage has continued to greet the allegation with many calling for the head of the individuals highlighted in the report.