The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has blamed the party’s loss at the March 28 presidential election to hate speeches embarked upon by some of its official.
Olisa Metuh, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, made this known at a news briefing on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the NWC advised such party officials against hate speeches, but that the advice and suggestions were ignored. “We cannot be held responsible for the failure,” he said.
Although Metuh, refrained from directly calling names of officials that embarked on hate speeches, Patience Jonathan and Governor Ayodele Fayose have been condemned heavily for their hate speeches against president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
Patience Jonathan incited violence during a PDP Women Campaign in Calabar, Cross River state, when she said that anyone chanting ‘Change’ (The All Progressives Congress’s campaign ‘word’) be stoned.
In the video which is an item on YouTube, she said: “I’m telling you, anyone that comes and tell you change, stone that person. What you did not do 19 kilikili, is now that age has caught up with you, you want to come and change? You can’t change rather you will turn back to a baby. You will turn back to a baby. From old age nothing, so nothing like change. Rather (it) is continuity.”
The All Progressives Congress has since reported her to the International Criminal Court in Netherlands.
Fayose did not only embark on hate speeches he also wished death on Buhari in an advertorial published in some national newspapers during the campaign period.
Meanwhile, Metuh has also attributed the inability of the party’s leaders in the north to garner support for its candidates in the region, to the hate campaigns by party officials prior to the elections.
“While we are not holding any excuse for them, we cannot be held accountable for issues that were generated which worked against our candidates in the North. All Nigerians know what happened,” he said.
He added that if the party’s presidential campaign in 2003 and 2007 had ran hate campaign against Odumegu Ojukwu who contested the presidency with former
President Olusegun Obasonjo and late Musa Yar`Adua, respectively, the South-East would have voted against it.
He disclosed that the NWC did not play any significant role in the party`s 2015 presidential campaign.
He added that members of NWC did not share part of the presidential campaign funds as was being speculated, nor were they involved in the disbursement of funds.
The party’s spokesman maintained that the committee members had no knowledge of how the money voted for the campaign was spent.
He explained that the N30 million allegedly paid to NWC members, with President Goodluck Jonathan`s approval, was meant for furniture, medical and other backlog of allowances.
This, he said, was accruable to the members of the NWC in the last three years.
According to Metuh, the PDP generated about N9 billion from the sales of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to aspirants to various elective offices on the platform of the party in 2014.
Out of this, he said, the party donated N500 million to Prof. Jerry Gana-led National Presidential Campaign Fund Raising dinner in December, 2014.
He also said that the NWC gave out N100 million to each of the 29 gubernatorial candidates of the party for the April 11 governorship election.
“We sponsored our House of Assembly candidates. The money was passed though the governors or through ministers and gubernatorial candidates in states where PDP had no sitting governor,” he said.
Metuh added that the NWC, however, got approval from Jonathan for all its spending and expressed readiness of the committee to make its account public.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that this national leadership has remained very transparent in all its dealing since coming into office.
“No member of the NWC has ever been accused of embezzlement of funds in any ministry, department or agencies of government at any level whatsoever.
“We state clearly that we have not been given any money, rather this NWC generated billions of naira from the sales of forms from where we funded our candidates for governorship and State Assembly elections in all the states of the federation,” he said.
This, Metuh added, was in addition to funds released to key leaders, including NWC and Board of Trustee members, to prosecute the campaigns in their various areas.
He further maintained that the NWC was willing and ready to make this account public in line with the Freedom of Information Law.
He, however, said the party had resolved its differences following the intervention of Jonathan, the PDP governors and other key stakeholders of the party, including governors-elect and legislators-elect.tweet Follow @@metrolens1