Amaechi, Tinubu allies disagree on vote-buying allegation
A former transport minister and All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Rotimi Amaechi, came under fire on Monday for his allegation that delegates who voted in the APC primary were bribed to influence the outcome of the convention.
Amaechi had further claimed that many of those who were instigated with money had since regretted their action.
He made the controversial statement at an event marking the 60th birthday of Abundant Life Evangelical Mission General Overseer Eugene Ogu in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State, on Saturday.
Party standard bearer Asiwaju Bola Tinubu beat Amaechi, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and 12 others to clinch the presidential ticket to the party’s national convention.
Reacting to his scathing remarks, some APC supporters and party leaders berated the former governor of Rivers State, who they said showed signs of frustration after losing to Tinubu.
A number of Amaechi loyalists have also come to his defence, saying the ex-minister did not mention any names when making the guess.
Asiwaju Tinubu’s presidential campaign organization director general, Adebayo Shittu, said he found Amaechi’s statements incredible.
He said, “Who regrets what? Can Amaechi insulate himself from those he claimed to have induced delegates for the votes? He, like the other APC primary hopefuls, cannot point fingers at others without getting involved.
“What does he mean by delegates who regret collecting bribes for votes? Is he indirectly saying that the governors who brought them bribes collected and also expressing regret? I would like to have the opportunity to discuss with him on these kinds of questions.
“Amaechi’s outburst, like few other notables, was obviously caused by frustration. I understand that when you lose an election, you’re bound to hold a grudge. You can’t rule that out. After all, we’re human beings and Nigerians,” he added.
Ekiti State Coordinator of Tinubu Support Organization Gabriel Babalola also hit out at Amaechi and wondered how a former minister believed he could win the battle for the APC presidential ticket without hard work. for it.
“Before any of them could wake up, Asiwaju had gone from state to state, traditional leader to traditional leader asking for their support.
“How many traditional leaders did Amaechi visit before the convention? How many states has he visited? He must have spoken out of frustration,” Babalola said.
APC’s youngest presidential candidate, Nicholas Felix, however, urged restraint on both sides.
He said, “Amaechi, like some other aspirants and party members, may not be happy with the fact that Asiwaju won the election, especially with the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket being played out.
“I’m sure the reaction would have been different if Tinubu hadn’t headed in that direction. Maybe everyone would have been fired.
One of Amaechi’s allies and an APC leader, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, however, said it was unfortunate that the Tinubu camp took the matter personally.
Eze, a former spokesperson for the defunct New Peoples’ Democratic Party, noted that the former minister did not mention Tinubu or name any politicians and wondered why he was drawing unnecessary criticism from his men.
“Did Amaechi mention anyone’s name when he made that statement?” So if the people of Tinubu feel guilty, it’s very unfortunate.
“Everyone saw what happened that day, and even most of the delegates confirmed that they had received money to vote,” he said.
In a related development, APC Assistant Publicity Secretary in Rivers State Darlington Nwauju also felt that Amaechi had been misunderstood.
Nwauju said, “First of all, I was present at that ceremony or the event where he spoke. Now the problem is that he gave an example that anyone can give any interpretation. And I hope they also heard when he said ‘please vote for the APC’. He said it clearly.
“So when people take the example of the issues, he contextualized it because he’s an APC member. He couldn’t have used the PDP example. If he had said those who voted for Atiku Abubakar, they would have said “oh, because he wants to join the PDP.” So he contextualized it.
All efforts to reach APC National Publicity Secretary Felix Morka for a reaction proved futile.
At the time of filing this report, he has not answered her calls or responded to text messages.
However, a former APC deputy spokesman, Yekinni Nabena, also hinted that he would be totally disappointed if Amaechi really desecrated the same process he participated in in the APC primary.
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