gegPresident Goodluck Jonathan has described as mischievous, false and embarrassing, a report on the front page of a national daily yesterday that he spent N2trillion on the just concluded general elections.
The report had also alleged that the President had ordered party bigwigs, ministers and campaign coordinators who were supposed to have used the said money for mobilisation and inducement of voters to refund part of the money given to them since most of them did not deliver on the tasks given to them.
Presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, however described the story as the handiwork of people who want to bring President Goodluck Jonathan down at all costs, saying that the entire budget for the whole country in a year is just about 4 trillion naira.
“The President has not setup any committee as alleged in that story. It is also not true that the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party used state funds, or spent N2 trillion during the campaigns. The innuendoes are wrong-headed; the motives behind the story are suspicious.
The story further alleged that the Presidency spent N2trillion on elections and embarked on a money-sharing spree to party members, support groups and state officials.
Abati said that the authors of the story and their self-appointed megaphones also insinuated that public funds were deployed in this regard and lamented that their allegation of theft of public funds was extremely malicious.
He asked: “How much is the budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria? The annual budget of the Federal Government is a little over N4 trillion. The story is practically suggesting that half of the federal budget was spent on elections. This kind of reckless insinuation is meant to incite the public and instigate a national crisis.
“With Federal Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, having to do everything possible every month to ensure disbursements and with the Federal Government heavily committed to the war against terror in the North-East, where is the alleged N2trillion from the federal purse? President Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, conducted the 2015 elections in strict accordance with the rule of law. The suggestion of any unlawful conduct cannot be sustained under any circumstances.”
While calling on President Jonathan’s detractors to note that elections are over, Abati reminded Nigerians that the way and manner the President handled the aftermath had drawn global applause and respect to Nigeria.
He therefore urged Nigerians to avoid any statement that can derail the gains of the last elections.
According to him, President Jonathan had done his best to protect and strengthen democracy and promote peace and deserved all the accolades that he had received from both Nigerians and the international community for this.
He said that certain persons and interest groups may not be happy that his profile had further risen and that his legacy is assured; but they do their country gross disservice when they act so unpatriotically.
The Presidency said that anyone who is engaged in imposing a crisis on the country by any means is not being fair to Nigeria and appealed to the public to be wary of such reckless tactics on display, which form the substance of an odd, malicious campaign after the elections.
Abati said that President Jonathan was worried that since the March 28 and April 11 elections, some persons had continued to work very hard to diminish the Jonathan Presidency, adding that they need to be reminded that the time for politics was over; it is now time to focus on the in-coming government, with emphasis on national development and moving the country forward.

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