Delegates from Adamawa and Ogun have disclosed that they received cash gifts from Bola Tinubu, which has offset doubts over speculations that the ruling All Progressives Congress’ presidential primaries would be grossly monetised.
According to a report by The Gazette on Tuesday, at least five delegates from both states have disclosed in separate interviews that they were offered American dollars to support Mr Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The delegates provided information under anonymity to avoid being accused of anti-party conduct that could carry severe disciplinary measures.
In the report by The Gazette, Mr Tinubu gave Ogun delegates $25,000 each to induce his acceptance as the party’s presidential flag-bearer tonight, whereas Adamawa delegates said they received $10,000 each from Mr Tinubu’s surrogates. The delegates have converged in Abuja starting last week ahead of the primary scheduled to be held June 6-8.
“Asiwaju’s people came here and they said we should support him because he has the best chance to defeat Atiku Abubakar,” a delegate had said. “Then they said they didn’t come empty-handed.”
Loconaija also gathered that delegates from Ogun state confirmed getting $25,000 from Tinubu. They, however, said they rejected $5,000 from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s surrogates.
“The vice-president’s people initially said he didn’t have any money to give and advised everyone to vote their conscience,” a delegate said. “But suddenly they came back to say he wanted to give us $5,000 to support our transportation and hotel accommodation.”
Speaking with The Gazette, the delegates admitted that they rejected the money because it was smaller than what Mr Tinubu had already offered.
Although one delegate claimed to have been given less than the amount by Tinubu’s surrogates.
“I don’t know what happened but they only gave me $9,000,” the politician said. “I am working now to get the balance from the person they sent to us.”
Loconaija was unable to clarify how much other aspirants have offered delegates. At least five aspirants are believed to remain in the race amidst an intense contest. Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi, David Umahi, Mr Tinubu and Mr Osinbajo are said to be on a shortlist of governors. One of them may be announced later today as the favourite, although President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to elective primary after weeks of doubling down on a consensus arrangement.
Photo: The Gazette
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