FURORE OVER N3BN AID TO JONATHAN CAMPAIGN
I will give N100 billion if I have - Yuguda
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
LAGOS—SOME six Governors belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were, yesterday, night steeped in the midst of controversy following the allegation that each of them made mandatory donations of N500 million to the Jonathan/Sambo campaign organization.
Official documents obtained by Vanguard, yesterday named the six governors as those of Ebonyi, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Benue and Bauchi States. They were reported to have made the N500 million donation to the official campaign organisation of President Goodluck Jonathan.
A letter of acknowledgment of the alleged donation dated December 6, 2010, written to the six governors by the then Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa, made reference to the donation in the letter.
The letter jointly copied to the six Governors read thus:
LETTER OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT
'I write on behalf of His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your mandatory financial contribution of N500 million each to the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation.
'2. His Excellency is very appreciative of your support and asks that I assure you that he will be guided at all times by unwavering commitment in the common good of our nation and fear of God.
'3. Please accept the assurances of Mr. President's best regard. Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa Special Adviser (Political Matters) to the President.'
The Director of Publicity at the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Mr. Sully Abu, however, claimed ignorance of the letter, yesterday, while Governors Isa Yuguda and Gbenga Daniel of Bauchi and Ogun States respectively alleged political mischief.
Governor Yuguda who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Publicity, Sanusi Muhammed, said he would give as much as N100 billion if possible to the President's campaign coffers but denied ever giving the reported figure.
Muhammed said: 'What they are after is to ridicule the reputation of Mallam Isa Yuguda especially in the eyes of the delegates and it is one of the strategies of the opposition. Yuguda is solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan and he believes that he is an integral part of the Yar`Adua-Jonathan ticket and we in the North believe that this is the time to reciprocate the past political solidarity of the South_South people.
'There is nothing wrong in contributing anything necessary to help his election and if Governor Yuguda is in a position to spend N100 billion for the election of President Jonathan he would do it, but all he donated was what was announced in Abuja.'
The Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Sina Kawonise, simply dismissed the allegation as 'ridiculous, not worthy of a response.'
The Special Adviser to Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, Alhaji Nasiru Abdul, equally denied any linkage with the reported donation saying, 'it is not true.'
Indabawa who recently left his post could not be reached, yesterday, as his two mobile phones were off while a text message sent to President Jonathan's Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Ima Niboro did not receive a response.