2015 Campaign Funds: Dire need to revisit Buhari’s

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THE former ruling party has been terribly demonized by reactionaries and the right-wing press which nearly resulted in street agitation even before the presidential election of 2015 that unseated the Jonathan administration. As luck would have it, that administration was sent packing  by over two million doctored polls result from the north that ushered in the dawn of a new era in the course of our nation’s political history.

Reports and events have shown that government was none other than one vast empire of corruption following indictments and arrests of public office holders that served under the former ruling party. We have had arrests and still ongoing about the controversial arms procurement fund which was allegedly disbursed from the office of the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki rtd.

Much as I support and  pat the president on the back for probing the immediate past administration and ensuring that all looted funds from government coffers are returned calling to mind the campaign funds which we were told was realized by fund-raising same must extend to himself.

We are not unaware of those who bankrolled his presidential campaign with tons of government’s money running into billions of naira. Those people include past and serving governors and must be asked to account for the money they lavished on Buhari’s presidential campaign which we know full well was not theirs.

Only on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Femi Femi-Kayode’s detention by Nigeria’s anti-graft body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was widely reported by the world press ahead of the anti-corruption summit holding in London, the United Kingdom for which the president is an attendee or participant.

The former Minister was quoted as saying he did not know the money in question which he has been asked to refund was governments. Now that he has known and been asked to refund the money, he should as a matter of urgency be compelled to do so no matter whose ox is gored.

While that drastic measure is employed  to recover all looted funds, same should be extended to all those who equally  used government’s money to bankroll Buhari’s presidential campaign calling to mind the missing money running into millions of dollars from the Rivers State coffers.

President Buhari cannot and must not feign ignorance of this. He has set a very good precedence for past governments to be probed and even if he does not do it now by shielding past and present governors like Rotimi Amaechi and others from a similar probe in spite of the glaring evidence against him by the Rivers State government let him bear in mind Amaechi could never be shielded forever. The records are there and intact to be revisited when Buhari on completion of his tenure leaves office.

We are not also unaware of the levy imposed by the then opposition party on all APC-controlled states where tons of money was realized to fund Buhari’s campaign. No one could deny this because we were all living witnesses to this incontrovertible fact. These monies were equally government’s money hence the source of these monies must also be probed if the fight to recover looted funds is anything to go by.

If this government under Buhari does not do it now certainly another government will do it when the baton of power changes hands because no one is going to be in government forever seeing that power like a cold spell is not only transient but ephemeral. This is as sure as fate. The young, they often say, shall grow and we are watching every step being taken by shameless cabals who have chosen to plunder our common patrimony while others thrive on dirt and dirty surroundings.

Every man is infallible, Buhari is a man and, therefore, infallible if his apologists need reminding. Not until the source of his campaign funds is equally probed by the present anti-graft war we may be on another wild goose chase.

Iyoha John Darlington, a scholar, social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues wrote from Turin, Italy.

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