The national headquarters of the APC did not give then governorship candidate AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq N1bn to run his campaign, former APC vice chairman for north central Suleiman Wambai clarified on Wednesday.
Speaking on the recent controversy around campaign funds in Kwara State during the 2019 ballot, Wambai said the funds the party sent to Kwara and other states was for election logistics such as payment for polling agents, supervisors, and canvassers.
“And that particular money came with a specific template of distribution and various stakeholders, including national officers, were involved in its disbursement. The candidate, like his colleagues in other states, took delivery of the said funds but that was all. Its disbursement followed a template that the party had earlier approved. As the chairman of the party in the north central I was to be there, but I couldn’t possibly be in all the North Central states at the same time. In any case, we had a national officer of the party, the National Publicity Secretary who is from Kwara State. We did not have any complaints from Kwara or any other state that the said fund was mismanaged. It was used for the purpose it was meant for,” Wambai told reporters in Abuja.
He said the allegation by the former state chairman of the party Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa that the Governor did not disclose the fund sent to him was “definitely false because the disbursement was transparently done, otherwise, where did the money paid to our party agents, supervisors, canvassers came from? The reports from Kwara and elsewhere showed that all the polling agents and others that were meant to be paid were duly paid as designed.”
Wambai clarified that Kwara did not get up to one billion naira and whatever that came was disbursed in accordance with the template from the national headquarters of the party.
“This matter can only generate controversy out of ignorance. If they were aware of the restrictions the electoral laws impose on campaign fund donations, they wouldn’t be saying that,” he added.
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“All (governorship) candidates were made the leaders in their respective state to coordinate and lead the campaigns. They ran their own campaign mostly with their own funds. The money we sent was to cover logistics for elections and as I said, the template for its disbursement came directly from the headquarters of the party and that was what everyone followed. Any claim to the contrary is false,” he added.
Wambai said it was wrong to misinterpret his comments (earlier published on an online news platform) about the funds sent to the states to mean that money was given to a particular governorship candidate for campaign.
“It was for logistics and the fund was used judiciously as directed by the party. People should disregard the false information being bandied around. Specifically, the statement credited to the former APC chairman in Kwara State Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa that the then candidate received N1bn for campaign is false. As the leader of the party in north central, I can say there was nothing like that,” he said.