President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and all other party members did not pay their party levies in all of 2015, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said in its latest financial report.
The party said it received no such contribution from all its members across the country, raising questions about how it funded its operations in an election year.
The exact number of APC’s members across the country is not clear, but officials say the figure is expected to be over a million, Premium Times reports.
Party subscriptions, membership fees and levies, charged monthly or annually on members, are a key source of funding for political parties. In fact, the APC generated N23.7 million from those sources just a year earlier: 2014.
But by 2015, the party said no member across the country, including top leaders like President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, paid a kobo as dues, a claim analysts say is unlikely, and has cast doubt on the truthfulness of the party’s audit report.
One analyst said the claim may also mean the party, which campaigned on a promise to fight corruption, may be relying on “money bags” — instead of legitimate membership levies — for its operations, which means it would be promoting patronage and cronyism.
“It shows that something is wrong. Either they are not filling out what exactly is the true position or their internal fund raising mechanism is weak,” said Eze Onyekpere, who heads Centre for Social Justice, an organisation that has monitored election campaign funding for years.
“That also shows the party is not serious about internal funding and is relying a lot on money bags. You don’t need big time donors. Little money here and there, a thousand, two, three, four, five; when you get it from a million people is a huge amount of money with which you can run a political party, rather than waiting for one donor who will give you tons of millions and expect a pound of flesh in return after the election if you win because he or she is not father Christmas. He is simply investing and he needs to make profit. That process of collecting profit is what leads to corruption and inflation of contract.”
The APC’s financial statement was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as required by law, and was exclusively obtained by Premium Times.