Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed the claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the governors under the party’s platform will bankroll the forthcoming APC National Convention with N6 billion.
The PDP had on Monday accused the Presidency of coercing APC governors to fund the party’s forthcoming National Convention, alleging that N6 billion meant for the development of APC controlled states would be channelled towards the funding of the ruling party’s convention.
Replying in a statement signed by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the ruling party described the main opposition party’s claim as unsubstantiated and baseless.
Reminding the PDP that though the Convention committee has not even submitted budget for the Convention, the expenditure for the convention is captured on its 2018 budget, challenging the PDP to publish its audited account if it has any.
The statement reads:
“In reacting to the PDP allegations on the management of the APC finances and the funding for the Party’s upcoming 2018 National Convention among other unsubstantiated allegations contained in a statement by a spokesman for the PDP, we refer the PDP to the APC’s 2016 published independent audit report and accompanying financial statements
“In respect of the funding for our upcoming national convention, we also refer the PDP to our earlier issued statement by the APC denying your story and stating that the story is misleading and has misrepresented our party.
“At the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) and the governors of the party held at the party secretariat on Thursday April 26, it was pointed out that many of the governors have fallen behind in the payment of their party dues. While some of the governors have been up-to-date with the payments, a few others have not paid at all. The governors were therefore requested to pay up, especially in view of upcoming party activities.
“It is therefore possible that a governor that falls in the category of those that has not paid since inception could owe up to N250million. Therefore, it is grossly misleading, if not downright malicious, for your report to simply apply this sum to everyone and multiply by the number of governors.
“For avoidance of doubts, party dues are paid by all members of the party holding positions, either by election or appointment. Therefore, members of the National Assembly as well as cabinet ministers also remit a percentage of their earnings to the party. It is therefore false to say governors are expected to pay up with state money.
“It is also important to note that the convention committee has not submitted a budget for the convention. Therefore, the issue of N6 billion is not in any way warranted.
“Besides, the expenses for the National Convention to elect national officers and the presidential convention are duly captured in our 2018 budget. Therefore, the issue of N6 billion convention expenses is neither here nor there.
“While we assure Nigerians that the APC has not adopted the PDP’s practice of dipping their hands into the public till to fund its political activities as brazenly displayed during the 2015 elections, we equally call on the PDP to emulate the APC’s best practice of financial probity and openness by making public their audited reports and financial statements, if they have any,” APC challenged the PDP.