The Lagos State Government Solicits Funds For 2015 APC’s Buhari/Osinbajo campaign.
Barely 48 hours ago I invited you to a press briefing to unveil our plans to raise funding for the Buhari-Osinbajo campaign.
I told you about the problems we were having with the domain by the Federal Government, which forced us to switch from www.apcgmbpyo.com.ng to www.apcgmbpyo.org.
I mentioned the commercial nature of the transactions we had with the businesses who were partnering with us and the benefits to the economy. I also stated very clearly that these businesses had no partisan relationship but are providing professional service.
I said so, in order to protect their businesses because of the increasing intolerance we were witnessing from the Jonathan and PDP Presidential campaign and some Federal Government agencies that have taken a partisan position.
It is with very deep sadness that I address you all today, because I never expected that I will witness in Nigeria some of the very distasteful and disgraceful conduct that the Federal Government, the PDP and the President have embarked upon, by way of repression of freedoms.
As a Nigerian, I feel personally embarrassed.
Before the end of Tuesday when I addressed you here, the National Communications Commission (the NCC) had issued a letter to the telecoms operators not to carry political messages. I will leave a copy of one of such letter to you.
The question to ask is, if traditional media, radio, newspapers and television can carry political messages, why should new and social media not participate and benefit?
Why should commercial transactions that promote business, the economy and jobs be frustrated because of one man’s desire to serve?
Why should a President who says he cares about young people and wants their votes be shutting down their generation’s platform?
Is the President himself not using the same platform? Is this not a media censorship?
As if this was not enough, reports reaching me yesterday evening was that the 35350 platform for contributing by SMS had been shut down.
On Tuesday when I announced the opening of the platform we getting 4-5 text messages of N100 each every one minute, and 5,400 messages had been received by 2.30pm after which they had stopped and I was getting text messages on my own phone by Nigerians complaining that they could no longer access the 35350 platform.
Approval was given by the same NCC to the Goodluck-Sambo campaign in 2010.
Inspite of these irritations, it is encouraging to us to note and to report to you that the enthusiasm of Nigerians for change is already visible from the first day we launched these payment platforms. Between the 5 banks alone, we have raised little sums of N822,928.80 from bank payments and N606,000 has been raised from the internet platform before the interference.
This is what we sought to achieve. A democratization of fund raising, transparency and commercial opportunities for businesses.
From now, the bank and one card scratch platforms are working and the urge Nigerians who wish to join this movement of change to continue to use them.
We use this medium to implore Mr. President to redeem his democratic credentials and act according to the peace pact he signed by directing NCC to restore the 35350 platform.
After all, this is nothing but a context of ideas aimed at serving the people.
Dear compatriots, there are dark clouds gathering, but I remain optimistic that they will yield to a glorious dawn. The promise of Nigeria is greater that the ambition of one man or a political party.
Beyond the campaign of the APC for change, there is already a momentum of the Nigerian people for change that is far ahead of our campaign.
This is the people’s desire, nothing can stop it. The dictates of honour demand that no right thinking person should attempt to resist it.
May God bless and prosper Nigeria.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Governor of Lagos State
January 22, 2015