Image from the campaign rally courtesy SaharaReporters

The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), of secretly withdrawing over N478 million from the coffers of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to rent a crowd for the President.

PDP alleged that the APC used the said amount to offset bills in Buhari’s expensive re-election campaign rally going on in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, southern Nigeria.

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The party said this in a statement signed and made available to journalists by Kola Ologbondiyan, Director of Media & Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign, on Friday

PDP also accused Buhari of “directly appointing serving ministers and heads of government agencies as members of his campaign council so as to continue to use them as conduit pipes for the diversion of public funds to finance his 2019 campaign.”

The party’s statement read in part: “Our party is also aware of the protests by some eminent Nigerians, including foremost businessmen, who were named as members of the APC Campaign Council without their consent, in a desperate bid to showcase an impression that they are supporting Mr. President’s re-election bid.

“The N478 million NDDC fund which was originally budgeted for development projects in the Niger Delta was diverted to renting and transportation of crowd from other parts of the country to the rally to create an impression of popularity for President Buhari in the region.

“Further information at our party’s disposal, shows that the said N478 million is part of the wholesome sum of N1.2 billion allegedly siphoned in tranches from the NDDC treasury by the cabal at the Buhari Presidency and APC leaders, who have been stealing money from various government agencies to finance President Buhari’s campaign.

“Our party also has it on good authority that this ignoble scheme of siphoning NDDC development fund to finance his campaign was the main reason President Buhari foisted an unpopular leadership at the management of the NDDC despite the protests by critical stakeholders in all the states of the Niger Delta.

“Furthermore, the PPCO is aware of the dissention by some APC leaders over President Buhari’s unilateral listing of individuals into his campaign council as announced by his media aide, without recourse to the selection process of the APC leadership.

“This further shows the dictatorial tendencies of the Buhari Presidency and his arrogant disdain for constituted authority.

“Moreover, the PPCO invites Nigerians to note that unlike the PDP Presidential campaign council, which has credible Nigerians as members, most of Buhari’s zonal coordinators are persons facing corruption cases.”