Former presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and a chieftain of the party, Prof. Pat Utomi, have assured Nigerians, that portals for Obi’s Campaign Funds will be launched next week to enable Nigerians, within and outside the country donate funds to the campaign effort of the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi.
Utomi, a professor of political economy, disclosed this when he featured on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television, in Lagos, weekend.
He said there was nothing wrong with Nigerians in the diaspora donating funds to political campaigns in Nigeria, adding that he was a beneficiary of such when he contested to be president.
“When the time is right, the diaspora will give money. They have always given money to campaigns. I ran for president before and got support from the diaspora in 2006 and 2007 and then when I ran in 2011.
“When the time is right, we are going to solicit from Nigerians across the board. We are setting up portals where people can give money.
“These portals are not up yet. They would be up next week or so and eventually, we are going to be able to access resources from the diaspora for sure.
”But right now, we are on a sensitization tour about what makes democracy work. Right now, Nigeria’s democracy is not working because of the transaction cost involved and the trade-off that has to be made,” Utomi said.
Asked if donating money from abroad to fund campaigns was not in contravention of extant laws, Utomi said no law should oppose the funding of political rallies from the diaspora.
“I am completely aware of what the law says. If we open a portal, Nigerians who want to support what we stand for should contribute to it.
”If you say Nigerians abroad can’t go to a portal and contribute a dollar and those at home, you have prevented them from voting.
“Every other African country manages to allow their diaspora to vote – Ghana, Kenya, everybody.”