2023: Cash crunch hits PDP, Labour Party, NNPP as campaign begins

Moves have begun by stakeholders within opposition political parties to overcome challenges posed by paucity of needed funds as they commenced campaign activities for next year’s presidential election.


The major contenders in the race are the All Progressives Congress (Bola Ahmed Tinubu), Labour Party (Peter Obi), New Nigerian Peoples Party (Rabiu Kwankwaso) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (Atiku Abubakar). As things stand today, the PDP has lost support of five of its governors led by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.


The APC looks good as it controls the federal government and 22 states. Both the NNPP and LP have no state in their kitty. It was gathered that apart from the ruling APC, all other political parties are grappling with ‘funding challenges’. A source in one of the major opposition parties said efforts being put in place to harness funds from private sector operators have hit the rocks. The source listed Atiku and Obi as the hardest hit by the cash crunch. He said the withdrawal of the five PDP governors has hit the PDP hard.


According to him, “I don’t want to deceive myself and if anyone wants to do so, let him be. Amongst all the candidates, Tinubu has an edge in cash liquidity because the two other challengers, that is, Aitku and Obi are already grappling with funding challenges. It is clear and simple that money plays a major role before and during elections and the APC appears to have that edge with 22 governors.


“In the case of the LP’s Obi, we all know his limitations in terms of funding. Those who pretended to be selfless in donations are already tired and withdrawing gradually from funding activities. Right now, we are aware that the LP plans to organise a public fundraising luncheon to raise money because the man cannot foot the bill alone. In the PDP, it is worse because all eyes were on the party before the crisis between the Wike group and Atiku blew open. Today, how many PDP governors are prepared to fund the party? The only one in the Southwest is with Wike.


“And to make matters worse, the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and Akwa Ibom governor three weeks ago turned down the request to bankroll Atiku. The governor had pointedly said all governors should hold their states. So it is a very big challenge.” It was also learnt that the trip to the United States by Atiku was to discuss issues of funding ahead of the 2023 election with some Nigeria businessmen. At the inauguration of the LP’s campaign council in Abuja, the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, raised the alarm on the non-availability of funds. Abure said Obi could not carry the funding burden alone.


He said, “The task is not an easy one because we are competing against parties that have the resources and common patrimony and ready to deploy it in the election. Presidential election is very expensive. Our slogan is that we don’t give shishi but this time around, we have to look for money. The Presidential candidate cannot fund the campaigns alone. He does not have the money. The greatest challenge that we are likely to have in this campaign is with funding.


“Our Presidential Candidate was a governor in Anambra, he is the only governor known not to have embezzled money, he kept N75 billion in the account of Anambra State and he is the only governor not on pension. The point I am making is that he cannot fund the presidential campaigns alone, therefore, all of us in this council have the responsibility to join hands with the party to see how we can raise funds”.


Meanwhile, the Labour Party yesterday flagged off its presidential campaign in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, saying that both the ruling APC and the opposition PDP have failed Nigerians. The party assured that its presidential candidate, Obi and his running mate Dr Datti Ahmed were ready to provide alternative leadership and take the challenge of rescuing the country. Obi who received the symbolic presidential flag from Abure, noted the numerous problems plaguing the country, adding that every sector of the country will receive due attention if Peter Obi is elected next president.


The presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi told the mammoth crowd that once he is elected president of the country, he will solve floods issues across the country and the state, adding that he is ready to change Nigeria for good. He assured the people of the state that if voted into office, he will stop farmers/herders crisis and ensure that farmers go back to the farms. He promised to address insecurity in the state and the country at large by engaging the youths through gainful employment and provide electricity, adding that the country under his leadership will address the problem in the education sector for our children to go back to schools.


On his part, his running mate, Dr Datti Ahmed expressed readiness of the Labour Party to reposition the country, adding that Peter Obi is the most educated among all the candidates and urged the people of the state not to vote on sentiment but vote credibility and capacity. Other speakers at the flagged off include the LP national chairman, Julius Abure, LP gubernatorial candidate in Nasarawa State, Joseph Ewuga and the DG of the campaign Dr. Doyin Okupe among others.



(The Nation)



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