By ISMAILA CHAFE
Abuja- The Media Subcommittee of the Convention Planning Committee of the APC has described as strange news and totally untrue, the media report that the subcommittee spent N800 million at the party’s convention.
The Media Subcommittee was headed by Gov. Abdullahi Sulaiman of Nassarawa and co-chaired by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture.
The Secretary of the subcommittee, who is also media aide to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, condemned the report, saying the subcommittee was only allocated N100 million.
He revealed that initially, the subcommittee submitted a budget of N360million but N100million was approved.
The statement read in part: ”The report in the Daily Telegraph that the Media Subcommittee of the Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nassarawa, co-chaired by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture. spent a whopping amount of N800 million is strange news, totally untrue.
”If that huge amount of money was spent on media work at the convention, we make bold to say that we were, and still are unaware of the what, who, when and how it was expended.
”The subcommittee, which I served as secretary got the total sum of N100 million only. We thank the governor for giving us venue, tea and coffee.
We submitted a budget of about N360 million.
”When the Finance subcommittee said that even the N100 million paid us was in excess of our budgetary allocation, we scrambled backwards, canceling commitments duly entered into for billboards, production of documentaries, lamp pole ads and so many other things.
”Some we could cancel, others were irreversible.
”On the assurances given by our leaders, we negotiated a token of commitment to TV networks for Live Coverage, with everyone agreeing that was a must-do for the convention.
”At the very end, we could only pay half of that amount to each of the stations, hoping that the leadership of the party will take responsibility for the payment of the balances due as a matter of honor.”
According to him, the expenses sheet accounting for the N100 Million and the detailed report of the work by the subcommittee has since been sent to the party and shared with the committee leaders and its membership.
He stated that, in the course of doing this work, all payments to third parties were done by a committee member in the presence of at least two other members, saying this was in a bid to rise above scandal.
”In view of the astonishing revelation of the money allegedly spent by our committee in this report, we strongly suspect that our account, rendered to the party, detailing out every of our expenses may have been the trigger for the ongoing investigation and the reported suspensions.
”Whatever be the case, we are absolutely in support in the ongoing probe into the convention finances.
”To convince anyone that the party is ready to continue with the cleansing of the nation being carried out by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, it must first cleanse its own house.
”On this, we stand with former Gov. Abdullahi Adamu, the new Chairman as he carries out this exercise. Nothing should be hidden under the carpet,” he further maintained. (NAN)