The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, has made N37.6 million ($103,045) in campaign donations from his GoFundMe fundraiser for the 2019 presidential election.
Sowore set up the account on March 13, 2018 to raise $2 million for his presidential campaign on the platform of his new party. Even though the account was suspended a day later, he regained control of it and has now raised the sum of $103,045 (as at November 30, 2018).
While speaking during an interview on Arise News Television on Thursday, November 29, the candidate said his campaign has raised N73 million in total.
When quizzed on what he would do if he runs out of money, he said he has more than just monetary support from Nigerians.
He said, "Running short of money is not the same as running out of support. To break it down, apart from the cash, people are also making kind donations; they're donating apartments, cars for branding for us. People are taking over.
"We have a process where individuals can also support ward chairmen, campaigners and people who are canvassers directly without getting through us.
"We had someone who donated over 15 megaphones to us from New York and these are ways through which you can support."
The candidate also disclosed that he needs around N400 million to run a successful campaign and get elected as Nigeria's next president.
"We hope that more Nigerians will come out because we need about N400 million more," he said.
The fundraising campaign of the Sahara Reporters founder is one of the most well-publicised this election season, especially in a climate where election funding is usually shrouded in mystery.
Even though parties are required to submit their audit reports on campaign funds to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) six months after an election, the two leading parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), didn't submit their reports for the 2015 elections until May 2018. The reports revealed that both parties spent a combined N7.7 billion on the elections.
If this means anything, it's that Sowore, and other candidates like him, still has some way to go match the financial muscle of the country's two leading parties who are both fielding veterans as their candidates.
The activist has vowed to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari (APC) and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar (PDP), and lead Nigeria into a brighter more productive future.
2019 presidential election
The 2019 presidential election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is billed to be closely-fought between President Buhari and Atiku.
Alongside Sowore in the chasing pack is Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).
Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People's Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.
79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria's electoral history.