Sunday, 23 November 2014

APC presidential primaries: Atiku woos delegates with N50,000

Ahead of the presidential primaries of the APC, former vice president Abubakar Atiku has splashed about N16.4million on Katsina APC, that included N50,000 each to the state’s 208 delegates.

Atiku, who is one of the frontline presidential aspirants of the APC, gave the money on Saturday when he visited Katsina State to lobby delegates preparatory to the party’s presidential primary election.

Speaking at the Katsina State APC Secretariat, Atiku said he viewed the APC in Katsina State as an orphan, because the party is not in government. He then announced the donation of N5million to the state secretariat, N1 million to the elders of the party, and N50,000 each to the 208 delegates.

In his words: “APC in Katsina Sstate is an orphan. I said this because it is not in government. I have seen the condition of the secretariat; so in my capacity as one of the elders of the party, I give the party secretariat N5 million, the elders N1 million and the delegates N50,000 each,”
He said he was confident of winning the primary election, while stressing that “the time for consensus has gone, because it is too late for the process of consensus”, adding that the best thing for the party was to go for the primaries.

In a short speech, the Katsina State APC chairman, Dr Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa, extolled the virtues of the former vice president and said “Nigeria needs the likes of Atiku”.

A source within APC said it is not proper for an aspirant to promise delegates money.

“If what you just said is true, it is wrong for any aspirant to promise delegates money. We are trying to create a level playing field for all the aspirants and we frown at such practice,” he told Leadership.

Justifying the action of the former Vice President in Katsina, his media spokesman, Garba Shehu in a statement said “all party leaders, including Atiku, make contributions to party development and this is more compelling in states where the party does not have control of the government.”

According to him, “donations to party are routine. There is no scandal in that, especially for someone like him, who is not dipping his hands in government treasury to get the money.”

It would be recalled that the Katsina State chapter of APC recently endorsed General Muhammadu Buhari for the party’s presidential ticket. But will the money from Atiku change their mind? Time will tell.

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