By Emmanuel Bello
Former military Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), has said he would fund his presidential campaign principally from funds generated by friends, associates and well-wishers.
It also expected that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled states would contribute to his campaign should he secure the ticket of the party.
A close ally of Buhari who spoke anonymously in Abuja yesterday, said Buhari is not the typical rich Nigerian politician with loads of cash to spend.
He said: “Buhari is a poor man by the standards of the average Nigerian politician. I don’t know if you know that Buhari does not have a house in Abuja. He doesn’t have a house and sometimes I wonder what kind of human being he is.
“He doesn’t have properties all over the place. In fact, the only house he has is the one in Kaduna and in his native village Daura.”
Since he left office, the source said, Buhari has basically depended on hand outs from his friends and supporters.
The former head of state who picked his nomination form last week to run for the presidency, had complained that the cost of the form was exorbitant.
There are also speculations that he might not be able to fund his campaign.
But his ally said Buhari would run a very robust campaign which would see him spending millions on transport, consultations and other aspects of the electioneering.
“Buhari would not need money for ‘stomach infrastructure’ because the people freely mill around him. He doesn’t need a hired crowd and they don’t need any money to come to him. In short, they are drawn to him naturally. There are friends, well wishers and cooperate bodies that are ready to contribute their pennies to make Buhari president because they believe in him. The good will is just tremendous,” the source said.
He said the declaration last Wednesday was an example of such affection from his followers.
With some governors and party chieftains attending his declaration event, Buhari appears to be in an early lead as he seeks the party’s ticket.
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and Kano State Governor, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, are the other top contenders for the APC ticket.
It is not clear if the APC would favour a Muslim-Muslim ticket as speculated in some quarters but Buhari, who has been accused of being a religious fanatic, is now a major contender.