The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday exonerated itself from the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election, saying the president failed because he did not carry the party along in his campaign.
Olisa Metuh, the PDP’s national publicity secretary, made the assertion while addressing reporters at the party secretariat in Abuja on Monday. He accused the president and his associates of not only failing to carry the party leadership along but also for ignoring the advice offered by party leaders.
Mr. Metuh specifically blamed the hate campaign by members of the Presidential Campaign Committee for producing the electoral failure of many party candidates.
The publicity secretary disclosed that the PDP spent more than N4 billion to sponsor its candidates in the presidential, governorship, National Assembly and state legislative elections.
“We did not lead the party to failure. We were not involved in the campaigns and our advice was ignored. If we had handled the campaign, Mr. President would have won the election,” said Mr. Metuh, adding, “We cannot be held responsible when our advice was ignored.”
He told the media that the party leadership “generated more than N7 billion, N8 billion or N 9billion. We generated more than N7 billion…The first initial donation we made was half a billion to the presidential campaign funds even though we were not involved in raising funds for the presidential campaign.
“They generated campaign funds up to N21 billion. The party was not involved in it and the party cannot account for it because we were not involved in that money. It was a Jerry Gana committee and they handled it and nobody can question us for that.
“There is no gubernatorial candidate that received less than N100 million from this [National] Working Committee. And the House of Assembly candidates across the country got money from us.”
According to Mr. Metuh, the funds donated by the party leadership to candidates were “were given to some ministers and some people to distribute to the state. In some states it was the campaign coordinators that we gave. In some states, we gave to the governors or directly to the candidates of the party.
“For those of us in the North where the type of campaign that we generated made it impossible for our leaders in the North to garner support for our candidate because of the hate campaign that was generated we are not answerable for it.
“Whilst I am not holding any excuse for them we cannot be held accountable for issues that were generated that worked against our candidate in the North,” said the party spokesman, adding, “This is clear, all Nigerians knew what happened.”
Mr. Metuh denied the allegation that he and several other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) received N30 million each. According to him, “we state clearly that we have not been given any money. Rather, this NWC generated billions of naira from the sale of forms from where we funded our candidates for governorship and state assembly elections in all the states of the federation—in addition to funds released to key leaders, including NWC and Board of Trustees members to prosecute the campaigns in their various areas.”
He added that the members of the party’s NWC were willing and ready to make their accounts public in line with the freedom of information law.
A day earlier, associates of President Goodluck Jonathan had given SaharaReporters documentary proof of what they alleged were greedy amounts collected by each member of the NWC, including the party’s national chairman Adamu Mu’azu. The sources at the Presidency accused Mr. Mu’azu and other NWC officials of pursuing their private material interests at the detriment of the party’s electoral prospects.