It was a rain of Naira Saturday in Abuja as Peoples Democratic Party realised more than N21 billion at its fund-raising dinner towards next year’s general election from donors spanning business, elected government officials, and private individuals.
With the absence of the President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who was billed to be the chief launcher, the event received huge financial commitment from those present at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa Abuja.
Chief Tunde Ayeni opened the donations with N1 billion on behalf of himself and his group of friends. He also announced the donation of another N2 billion on behalf of a different group of friends he said came from across the country.
Chairman of the PDP fund raising committee, Professor Jerry Gana who cautioned the party not to underestimate the opposition likely donated N5 billion on behalf of his friends, while the National Automotive Council donated N450 million.
The PDP Governors’ Forum, represented by the Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, announced a donation of N50 million by each of the 21 PDP state governors, making a total N1.05 billion. Yuguda was supported by the governors of Cross River, Bayelsa, and Gombe states while announcing the donation.
Bola Shagaya from Kwara state representing oil and gas industry donated N5 billion while the construction sector donated N310 million.
The chairman of Deep Offshore, Didi Ndimou, representing the Transport and Aviation sector donated N1 billion. The real estate sector represented by Oluchi Okoye donated N4 billion while the food and agricultural sector, represented by Chief Ominife Uzoegbu donated N500 million.
Also making donation at the event attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, his depty, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, Chief Tony Anenih and the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mua’zu among others, Cizaly Ltd donated N250 million while the representatives of the power sector led by Tunde Ayeni donated N500 million.
Other donors at the PDP fund raising dinner include the National Association of Stevedores’ Companies, N25 million; former governor of Ebonyi State Sam Egwu, N1 million; Halima Jubril, N5 million; and Ajuji Best Western Hotel, N1 million; among others.
The Chairman, Gana charged the party to use its campaign to show Nigerians what it had achieved for the country in the last 16 years.
“Let me use this opportunity to say that the forthcoming general election is essentially going to be a two-party affair. It will be very competitive.
“I therefore appeal to the leadership of our great party that we must not take things for granted. We must campaign. We must not underestimate the opposition. We have to show people what we have done in the last 16 years.
“Having a very good candidate is very important and I can tell everyone that our presidential candidate is good” Gana said.
“I must tell you that we have serious challenges and difficulties in a number of states arising from the primaries. And I want to appeal that our party’s leadership must not impose unpopular candidates on the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” Gana said.
The national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, said the party needed financial resources to prosecute the 2015 general elections.