APC PLANS N50BN ELECTION WAR CHEST

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) is planning a N50 billion war chest for the March and April elections, following the failure of its deal with GSM companies to raise funds through recharge cards.
Details of a meeting of leaders of the party held on February 17 in Abuja, which featured at least 14 chairmen of state chapters of the party which were obtained by Sunday Tribune indicated that the APC would soon launch another platform which would guarantee it the needed N50 billion campaign funds.
Sources at the Abuja meeting, said to have been addressed by the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, indicated that the APC had finally agreed to the collapse of the deal with GSM operators on campaign funds.Sources at the meeting told Sunday Tribune that the APC had been unable to access the funds raised in respect of its recharge card for campaign project since the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) directed GSM operators in the country to stop the use of their platforms for the funding of political parties.
It was gathered that the sharing formula for the sales of the campaign scratch cards would have seen the party earn a total of 70 per cent of the realised funds.
While the Buhari support groups would earn 15 per cent of the funds, just like the GSM operators and the company that initiated the project, the presidential campaign organisation would earn 55 percent of the funds.
A source revealed that the party has however been unable to access the funds as the GSM Operators only sent 30percent to the Banks, thus withholding 70 percent.
It was also gathered that despite the failure of the GSM operators to remit the agreed funds, the party was unable to access the 30 perc ent paid to the banks as, according to him, the banks had given instructions that the funds should not be released.
Sources close to the party confirmed that following that disappointment, the party has now set its sight on a N50 billion campaign fund.
It was confirmed that the party is targeting N10 billion directly from members of the public; another N10 billion from donations, while N30 billion is expected to be raised from within the party.
This is being expected from donations to be made by APC state governors, members in the National Assembly (NASS) and State Houses of Assembly.
A source disclosed the method thus: “The party intends to use the method of distributing between five and ten thousand padlocked boxes (suitcases) across the wards and LGAs nation-wide. While it would get messages across its state chapters on how members of the public could make contributions. A committee has already been set up for that purpose.
Perhaps to further strengthen its hands ahead of the 2015 elections, the APC is planning what looks like a family meeting with its aspirants who lost at the December 2014 primaries.
A source said that the decision was a follow up to the charge from the party’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, who was said to have sent words to the Abuja meeting to call for unity in the party.
As a result of the admonition, it was learnt that Oyegun had concluded plans to convene a meeting of all members of the Party that contested and lost the primaries last December.
The party would through the meeting urge them to have faith in the party and to further support the APC for the forthcoming election.
Source: Tribune

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