The former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, has alleged that some delegates were induced with money to vote at the APC presidential primary in June.
Amaechi made the allegation on Saturday at an event to mark the 60th birthday of Eugene Ogu, the general overseer of Abundant Life Evangel Mission in Port Harcourt.
In a video posted on the Facebook page of the church, Amaechi said the delegates collected money to solve their immediate problems.
He added that some of the delegates that collected money to vote are regretting their decisions.
“God should save the ordinary Nigerian because they are the problem. Those who voted at the APC primary, who are they? The ordinary Nigerian. The small money they got solved their immediate problems,” he said.
The former governor was the runner-up at the APC presidential primaries, where he polled 316 votes to come a distant second to Bola Tinubu, who polled 1271 votes.
Amaechi did not mention the aspirant who allegedly gave money to delegates, but there were accusations and counter-accusations between Tinubu’s supporters and those of other APC aspirants during and after the primaries.
Political primaries across the country have been dogged by reports of vote buying by politicians. The elimination of statutory delegates in the 2022 electoral act, allowed a handful of elected delegates to decide the outcome of primaries.
Newsmen had reported how a Peoples Democratic Party delegate, Tanko Sabo, gave millions of Naira to some people in his local government after serving as a delegate at the primaries.
Sabo told reporters in Kaduna that he made so much money because he was a delegate to the state assembly, National Assembly, governorship and presidential primaries of his party.
During the APC presidential primary, Amaechi also alluded that aspirants were under pressure to induce voters.
While speaking to delegates, he said, “Ask all of us, what is our source of revenue? How did we get this money? The problem of the Nigerian State is all of us. Politicians will come here, talk to you and bring out money. Four years after, they will do the same thing and we will believe them.
“Put your money in your pocket and vote for Rotimi Amaechi,” he said.
Amaechi is, however, not the only APC presidential aspirant to allege that money was shared to induce delegates at the primary.
Tunde Bakare, one of the presidential aspirants, celebrated his zero votes as a “test of character by not paying any delegate.”
Similarly, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, another aspirant in the presidential primary, accused southeast leaders of selling the votes from the region.
“It became a shame that our leaders and the delegates sold all our votes,” Umahi said after the primaries.
Speaking on the outcome of the primary election, Amaechi said those who voted at the primaries are ordinary Nigerians and he tagged them the problem of Nigeria.
“I don’t believe that is the solution to Nigeria’s problem — giving money. I hope you know. I give you N10 million now and when it finishes, what happens? The solution to Nigeria’s problem is that all of you must rise,” he said.
“Now ‘oh we made a mistake’; ‘we didn’t make a mistake’. We are hearing different things. If Nigeria’s problem were to be solved, the ordinary Nigerian must be at the forefront. Pray for the leadership of the country, but also pray that ordinary Nigerians choose the right president to govern.
“May God make — vote APC, I am not joking — may God make you vote for the right candidate that will change Nigeria,” he said.