Indications emerged last night that President Muhammadu Buhari has finally made up his mind to reject the N45m cheque offered to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Abuja, for the purchase of his 2019 presidential nomination form.
A group known as the National Coordinator of Nigeria Consolidation Ambassador Network (NCAN) on Wednesday presented a cheque of N45 million to Adams Oshiomhole, chairman of the ruling APC for the purchase of presidential nomination form for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Presenting the cheque at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja yesterday, Sanusi Musa, coordinator of the group, said the decision to buy the form was informed by the need to consolidate on the foundation for a better Nigeria.
He said the group, which was on the front line calling on the president to seek re-election, was able to raise the funds through its members in various villages, local governments and states across the country.
“The foundation laid by President Muhammadu Buhari must be reinforced. We believe in the leadership of President Buhari, we count on him to consolidate the good work he has started for another four more years.
“It is, for this reason, Mr. Chairman, we have decided to pull our meagre resources together and purchase the expression of interest and nomination forms for President Bupresents he present himself to our party members to be chosen as its candidate for the 2019 general election.
“Our members from various villages, local governments and states have contributed to making this happen,” Sanusi said.
However, a Presidency source disclosed to Daily Correspondents last night that the President, who upon return from China and had confided in some friends, wondered how it could have been possible for NCAN to raise N45m within a very short time from its members across villages, LGAs and states nationwide when the prices for the forms were only fixed a few days ago.
The source said the President may have suspected a foul play and a trap from political opponents and feared that the forms could have been bought from the proceeds of crime or fraud, which could taint his integrity and anti-corruption stance.
He said the, however, ent, however, directed one of the security agencies in the country to probe the group and its sources of funding and report back to him as soon as possible, befa ore making a public statement on the matter, which is a likely rejection of the offer.
It was further learnt that the President had queried the leadership of APC in Abuja for accepting such ‘Greek’ gift without his knowledge and approval.
Our source said the President, who has maintained a hard stance against corruption and any form of criminality, is said to be considering two options in obtaining his nominations form, either using credible platforms or groups within the party or leave it to the DG Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign organization Amaechi, to mobilise funds among party loyalists to purchase the form.
It was also learnt that since the news was reported by the media, the President had deliberately asked his spokesmen to avoid speaking on the matter.
“That’s why up till now, the President is yet to publicly issue a statement to thank those who purchased the forms,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused President Buhari of using what it called a shadow group as a front to purchase the N45m APC presidential nomination form.
It described the action as a worn-out stunt, which he said smack of fraud and worsening the alleged already battered image of the President.
Ologbondiyan, in, a statement, on Thursday, said President Buhari can no longer play the pro-poor gimmick which his followers have always presented to Nigerians.
He said, “Already, our people are daily confronted by the flaunting of affluence and material wealth by the President and those around him, while betraying and abandoning millions of poor Nigerians who, unfortunately, put their trust in him in 2015.
“Nigerians are aware that the very expensive personal effects, including posh jewellery, daily paraded, by his close,e relatives betrayed the gimmick of using an unregistered group, pieced together to execute another failed pro-poor stunt to sway Nigerians.”
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