- Renege on promise to Finance Campaign
- Fears Grip Gov, Drops N200m Rather than N2Bn
- Obi, Kwankwaso Not Spared
As political parties begin to execute their presidential campaign plans for 2023, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is among parties worst-hit by paucity of funds ahead of the polls.
Media sources had attributed the cash crunch, said to have dampened morale in the camp of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to the intractable crisis between Atiku and the G-5 PDP Governors led by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who had rebelled against his candidacy.
Also, some South-South Governors, who are the traditional cash cows for the PDP have reportedly reneged on their earlier promise to finance the campaign, The New Diplomat learnt.
For instance, a source added that Emmanuel Udom, Akwa Ibom State Governor, who is also the Chairman of Atiku’s Presidential Campaign Council had ignored the request by the PDP to fund Atiku’s campaign.
The New Diplomat had earlier gathered from a PDP source “that Atiku had picked Udom to chair his Campaign Council to offset the cash challenges he had envisaged the Wike’s feud was likely to pose to his campaign. But now it appears the Akwa Ibom Governor has not been able to put his money where his mouth is like they say.” He added that Udom is not alone in this thinking as other South-South Governors are beginning to equally develop a cold feet towards funding Atiku’s campaign.
Another source was reportedly quoted as saying: “And to make matters worse, the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and Akwa Ibom governor three weeks ago turned down the request to bankroll Atiku. The governor had pointedly said all governors should hold their states. So it is a very big challenge.”
The New Diplomat exclusively gathered that a particular South-South Governor (name withheld) who had promised to donate N2bn to the campaign later reneged and was said to have dropped only N200 million, a development said to have unsettled the PDP Secretariat.
The cash crunch rocking the PDP Campaign was reported to have partly informed Atiku’s decision to race to the United States, in a bid to meet a cross section of Nigerian businessmen to discuss the issue of funding ahead of the 2023 election.
Among the four leading presidential candidates: Atiku, Obi, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), it is being reported that Tinubu appears to have the highest ‘cash liquidity’ as the APC controls 22 states including Lagos, the base of the APC’s standard-bearer.
The source continued: “I don’t want to deceive myself and if anyone wants to do so, let him be, that, amongst all the candidates, Tinubu has an edge in terms of cash liquidity because the two other challengers, that is, Aitku and Obi are already grappling with funding challenges. It is clear and simple that money plays a major role before and during election and the APC appears to have that edge with 22 governors.
“In the case of the LP’s Obi, we all know his limitations in terms of funding. Those who pretended to be selfless in donations are already tired and withdrawing gradually from funding activities.
Speaking on the recent call for donation by the Labour Party Chairman, Julius Abure, he added: “Right now, we are aware that the LP plans to organise a public fundraising luncheon to raise money because the man cannot foot the bill alone.
“In the PDP, it is worse because all eyes were on the party before the crisis between the Wike group and Atiku blew open. Today, how many PDP governors are prepared to fund the party? The only one in the Southwest is with Wike.”