By Mohammed Abubakar (Abuja)
THE Presidency yesterday denied a report in one of the national dailies, (not The Guardian) that President Goodluck Jonathan spent N2 trillion as campaign funds in the 2015 general elections as mischievous, false and embarrassing.
It also denied that Jonathan had raised a committee of five persons to carry out an audit of how the funds for elections were disbursed by party members.
In a statement in Abuja, Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati said the reports were part of the deliberate attempts at undermining the Jonathan Presidency, maintaining that nothing of such existed.
According to Abati, “The President has not set up any committee as alleged in that story. It is also not true that the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) used state funds, or spent N2 trillion during the campaigns, “noting that the innuendoes are wrong-headed; the motives behind the story are suspicious.
His words, “The story alleges, for example, that the Presidency spent N2trillion on elections and embarked on a money-sharing spree to party members, support groups and state officials.
The authors of the story and their self-appointed megaphones further insinuate that public funds were deployed in this regard. Their allegation of theft of public funds is extremely malicious.
“How much is the budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria? The annual budget of the Federal Government is a little over N4 trillion. The story is practically suggesting that half of the federal budget was spent on elections. This kind of reckless insinuation is meant to incite the public and instigate national crisis.
“With FAAC having to do everything possible every month to ensure disbursements and with the Federal Government heavily committed to the war against terror in the North East, where is the alleged N2 trillion from the Federal purse? President Jonathan and the People’s Democratic Party conducted the 2015 elections in strict accordance with the rule of law. The suggestion of any unlawful conduct cannot be sustained under any circumstances.”
He added that the President had done his best to protect and strengthen democracy and promote peace, saying that Jonathan deserves all the accolades that he has received from both Nigerians and the international community for this.
He noted that, “Certain persons and interest groups may not be happy that his profile has further risen and that his legacy is assured; but they do their country gross disservice when they act so unpatriotically.
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