President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja said he is committed to eliminating corruption in campaign financing in the country. He pledged not to authorize the use of any money from the treasury for his re-election campaign.
Backstory: Speaking after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, he urged his ministers to take advantage of technology to reach out to voters on the need to return the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration in next month’s general elections.
“There is no money from the treasury for use in the campaigns. I will not authorize that,” he said.
President Buhari declared that the APC-led administration has a clear development agenda best suited to take Nigeria forward and sustain economic development. He said even though the APC “message needs to be taken to all Nigerians”, his administration “cannot use money from the treasury to share out to prospective voters.”
Bottom Line: Talk does not help much. President Buhari has had over three years to work on serious campaign finance reforms, strengthen the institutions in such a way that good behavior does not depend on his assurances. He did not push for any of those reforms. Simply saying that he will not authorize resources for campaigns is not very reassuring.