POLITICS: Who Funds Buhari’s Presidential Campaigns?

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By Efio-Ita Nyok

Major General Muhammadu Buhari has been a presidential candidate since 2003. First, he was presidential candidate in 2003 and 2007 with the All Nigeria’s People’s Party(ANPP); in 2011 he was a presidential candidate with the Congress for Progressive Change(CPC). In all these instances, Buhari was defeated in the polls. In 2015, he is still a candidate gunning for Nigeria’s top job, albeit, from the platform of the All Progressives Congress(APC).

Elections anywhere, especially in a democracy, is capital intensive. A case in point is what is obtainable in the West, where the gross spendings of the last presidential elections in both the Republican and Democratic parties equal billions of dollars. However, owing to the fat that these heavy budgets cannot be shouldered exclusively by candidates, the onus then lies on the candidates to raise cash from legitimate means to fund their campaigns. Nigeria should be no different from other political climes. Maybe it is not.

It should be noted that the financial buoyancy with which the APC Presidential candidate, namely Muhammadu Buhari, spring up from preceding elections to contest in succeeding elections is beginning to raise eyebrows; and seeing that this candidate is not one of the world’s or country’s wealthiest men, is even more surprising!

This has incited Nigerians to begin the to question the credibility of the funds with which GMB funds his election campaigns. Some have alleged that he raises his campaign fund locally, while others argue that he does that internationally, Both the former and later positions, to my mind, are riff with controversy. This is owing to the fact that, with regards to the former, I am tempted to inquire: with how much can ordinary Nigerians support Buhari? And with regards to the latter, why is the identity of the financiers insistently elusive?

If you remember, Buhari did not have the least cash as N27.5 million naira to purchase the APC presidential nomination form(at least, that is what he made Nigerians to believe). In fact, he complained against the price arguing it was exorbitant.

About 5 days ago, the Chief of Staff to Buhari, Col. Hamid Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), while addressing 87 support groups of Buhari posited that the campaign had beeen able to raise N64 million naira. In total, his campaign has been able to raise N188 million. However, he denied that any report that linked Buhari’s campaign funding to an anonymous Arab nation. This brings us to the question of overseas funding of Buhari’s presidential campaign.

Nigerians are aware of the billions of naira that are rolling in to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign. His political cronies, including politicians and businessmen, declare the quality of their financial support openly. And we all know how they acquired this funds -Nigerians are aware they are corrupt! As for Muhammadu Buhari, we do not know but deserve to know. Nigerians wish to understand how peasant farmers and the like’s financial strength is keeping Buhari’s campaign afloat.

Having arrived at this dilemma, we shall proceed to engage the source of Buhari’s campaign. Globally, political Islam is making unprecedented in-course into hitherto non Islamic societies with the primary aim of Islamising them. Remember, Islam like Christianity, is a proselytising religion. And Nigeria, being Africa’s largest economy, is a juicy anticipation of the pushers of this Islamic trend. It is in view of this that one can allege that political Islam may be predisposed to financially support Buhari. In other words, the rumour making the rounds that one Ahmed Zaki Yamani, a former Saudi Arabia oil minister in league with other Arab billionaires are funding Buhari’s campaign, may carry a modicum of truth. It should be emphasised that this mustard-seed-of-a-truth has profound significance.

The relationship between political Islam as represented by Ahmed Zaki Yamani and the cache of Arab billionaires, and Buhari is seen in the increasingly financial buoyancy, lack of transparency and immunity to public scrutiny of the source of the funding of his campaigns. The question becomes, why the secrecy? What intent does it serve to deny your supporters the truth underlying the funding of your election campaigns.

Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari, I wish to put it straight to you, that average Nigerians couldn’t fund your elections campaign beginning from 2003 to date to the tune to which you are perceived to have been buoyant. Then, we are left with no other choice than to veer to the other side of the dilemma, which is that there is what I would like to refer to an Arabian Cabal that is funding your political aspirations. Since there is no smoke without fire, we are further tempted to objectify the perception that you, Muhammadu Buhari, seem to be the inroad in Nigeria to the global proselytising trend of political Islam.

It seems Buhari’s financiers are divulged!