If there is any issue the politicians, particularly those that are affiliated to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and their supporters would want swept under the carpet, it is unarguably the N21.27 billion that was realized during a fund-raising dinner organized by PDP on Saturday, December 20, 2014 in Abuja towards the re-election campaign of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The moral burden called campaign fund
However, it would be unpatriotic on the part of all social commentators, journalists, political observers, public opinion writers, activists and all public opinion moulders to sweep such an issue that has a direct bearing to the moral fabric of the on-going democratic process under the carpet.
As most politicians would always describe our democracy as a nascent democracy, after 15 years of adopting democratic process, they should always have it at the back of their minds that whatever political practice is being exhibited would in the future be seen and adopted as a template by future leaders.
It therefore follows that whatever political activity that should be carried out within the context of the present political dispensation should be ideal enough to be used as a reference point and a leadership template in the future. There is no denying the fact that the issue has now created two school of thoughts on our political landscape. One school of thought has it that it is a welcome development as it shows that the president that is popularly called GEJ is not dipping his hands into the public treasury to carry out his re-election campaigns.
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The other school of thought, which this writer is affiliated to, believes that the president is undeniably dragging himself into a labyrinth of moral burden which he may not be able to wriggle himself out from peradventure he retain his mandate. It is not an exaggeration to say that the N21.27 billion that was reportedly raised in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan re-election campaign cannot be ignored as it is literally interwoven with the moral fabric of the on-going democratic process.
At the local and state levels of government, many Nigerians have witnessed how monies contributed for the purposes of political campaigns have brought the once rosy relationships between politicians and their “godfathers” to an abrupt end. Worse still, in this context, many “godfathers” as individuals, companies and parastatals are involved. How many of them would he “compensate” when the time of repayment comes? Without turning this piece into a hotch-potch of examples of countries where the practice of raising campaign by those who seemingly saw the fund-raising event as an opportunity of buying a blue chip “political stock”, it is expedient to opine and reiterate that the event, though not novel, was taken to the extreme.
It has no doubt raised a grave moral question for the ruling party and also cast a pall over the chances of their candidates come 2015. At this juncture, one is compelled to charge the president campaign team to go back to their drawing board, and release the names of all the donors with the amount donated to the public.
They should realize that President Jonathan is not a president to his party, PDP, only but to all Nigerians. This is irrespective of their party, ethnic or religious affiliations. As the president‘s re-election campaign team carry out this assignment they should as well conduct an analytical retrospection into the past of the donors to find out if they are truly disposed to sincere philanthropy and corporate social responsibilities or they seemingly discovered a bullish political stock in a PDP politically regulated stock market and host an elaborate press conference to enlighten the public on this issue.With this, it would be made known whether the donors in question are truly altruistic or usurious.
To my view, if they have selfish motives, then the future tenure of President Jonathan, peradventure he wins the 2015 election, would be in trouble, as it were.
Firstly, most of the donors would want to recommend their own friends and “godsons” for political appointments. As regard the corporate donors, they would always look up to his government for policies that would be favorable to their sectors even when such policies would not favorable to their respective sector even when such policies would not be favorable to the well being of Nigerians and Nigeria.
According to an African proverb, “The woman that does not know how to say “NO” to favour offered her by men would also not be in good position to say “NO” when she is asked for a reciprocal favor. Against this background, it is germane to ask “Would there not be a miscarriage of justice if any of the donors falls against the law of the land.
In a similar vein, the governors that also made handsome donations during the fund-raising events have to some extent obsequiously warm themselves to the heart of the president and the party.
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With this, issues that involve the donor governors would at anytime receive preferential treatment at both the party level and that of the presidency. Without any iota of exaggeration, it is quite unreasonable and a height of irresponsibility for any corporate organization to be engaged in partisan politics.
What if some of the important clients of such organization belong to opposing parties?
Finally, I am through this medium raising my voice with other Nigerians to say that the fund raised for the president re-election bid fly in the face of democratic ideal. To me, it is a moral burden that was raised at the event.
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