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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

#Vote Buying Claims: Amaechi, Tinubu’s Camps Clash

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The camps of former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu have been engaging in fierce arguments over the former’s allegation that delegates were induced with monies during the party’s presidential primary, according to Headlinenews.news investigative reports.

Ameachi who spoke during an event to mark the 60th birthday of the General Overseer of Abundant Life Evangelical Mission, Eugene Ogu, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital on Saturday had alleged without mentioning names that some aspirants during the presidential election of the party bribed delegates to get their votes.

Amaechi further claimed that many of those who were induced with money have since regretted their action.

Tinubu emerged as the standard-bearer of the APC at the primary, defeating 13 other aspirants, including Amaechi.

Reacting to Amaechi’s remarks, some APC supporters and party chieftains berated the former governor of Rivers State, who they claimed was exhibiting traits of frustration after losing out to Tinubu.

Director-General of Asiwaju Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation, Adebayo Shittu, said he found the utterances of Amaechi unbelievable.

He said, “Who is regretting what? Can Amaechi isolate himself from those he claimed to have induced delegates for votes? He, just like other aspirants at the APC primaries, cannot point fingers at others without implicating themselves.

“What does he mean by delegates are regretting they collected bribes for votes? Is he indirectly saying the G overnors who brought them collected bribes and expressing regret too? I wish to have an opportunity to square up with him on this kind of issues.

“Amaechi’s outburst, just like few other noticeable ones, were obviously done out of frustration. I understand that when one loses an election, one is bound to hold grudges. You can’t rule that out. After all, we are human beings and Nigerians,” he added.

Also, the Ekiti State Coordinator of Tinubu Support Organisation, Gabriel Babalola, wondered why Ameachi believed he could clinch the party’s presidential ticket without working hard for it.

Babalola questioned where Ameachi was when Tinubu was meeting with prominent stakeholders of the party across the country.

“Before any of them could wake up, Asiwaju had gone from state to state, from one traditional ruler to another asking for their support.

“How many traditional rulers did Amaechi visit before the convention? How many states did he visit? He must have spoken out of frustration,” Babalola said.

APC Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, however, said the former minister neither mentioned Tinubu nor named any politician as he wondered why he attracted unnecessary criticism from Tinubu’s camp.

“Did Amaechi mention anybody’s name when he made that statement? So if Tinubu’s people feel that they are the guilty, it is very unfortunate.

“Everybody saw what happened on that day, and even most of the delegates confirmed that they were given money to vote,” Eze, an ally of Ameachi said.

But, Mr Nicholas Felix, another APC presidential aspirant who lost to Tinubu said, “Amaechi, like some other aspirants and party members, may not be pleased with the fact that Asiwaju won the elections, especially with the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket playing out.

“I am quite sure the reaction would have been different if Tinubu didn’t head in that direction. Perhaps, everybody would have been fired up.”

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