In a bid to win the forthcoming primary of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, investigation conducted by our correspondent revealed that some aspirants were wooing the 3,000 delegates that would vote in the APC primary with between N300,000 and N500, 000 each.
The primary was earlier scheduled to hold on Saturday (tomorrow) but it has been postponed till August 31, 2016.
The delegates would come from 203 wards across the 18 local government areas of the state.
No fewer than 25 aspirants will be contesting for the ticket of the party at the primary.
They include Dr. Tunji Abayomi, Mr. Bode Ayorinde, Dr. Segun Abraham, Chief Olusola Oke, Chief Bukola Adetula, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Senator Tayo Alasoadura, Moyosola Niran-Oladunni, Senator Ajayi Boroffice and Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose.
According to a source close to some of the aspirants, each of the aspirants had already spent millions of naira to woo the delegates to their sides in preparation for the primary while another huge sum of money would be showered on each of the delegates during the primary.
The source said, “ There is going to be a naira rain on the day of the primary for the delegates because some of the aspirants were ready to woo each delegate with as much as N200,000 while an aspirant wants to spend between N400,000 and N500,000 on each of the delegates.
“For instance, the aspirant I am supporting has the budget of N1bn to spend for his delegates on that day, while some aspirants may spend more than that but I don’t know if the money will work in convincing the delegates.
“But if money will be the decider of who emerges the winner of the primary, that means many delegates will be millionaires after that day because they will collect money from more than one aspirant.”
One of the aspirants, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, while speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, condemned the act of using money to entice the delegates.
She said if money was used as the deciding factor for the primary, a good and credible candidate would not emerge as the standard bearer of the party in the governorship election.
Anifowose, the only female governorship aspirant and daughter of the first civilian governor of the state, the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, urged fellow aspirants to allow the delegates make their choice among the aspirants.
Money politics, she said, should be discouraged as “it is an act of corruption.”
She said, “I too heard that our aspirants want to spend a lot of money for the delegates. I also learnt some have camped their delegates in hotels in Ibadan and Lagos, some for the past few months have been spending a lot of money on those that will vote on the day of the primary, they have forgotten that it is only God that can put a person in power.
“When you share money to buy delegates’ votes, is that not corruption? When you spend billions of naira on primary, how much will you spend on the real election? If you eventually win the election then the state would suffer for it. It is very unfortunate that this is happening in our party.”
In his reaction to the development, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ondo State, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, said no delegate could be bought over on the day of the primary.
He said the delegates had their chosen aspirants already and no amount of money could be given to them to change their minds.
He said, “If some of the aspirants say it is money for money, I know our delegates are not money-conscious, I know our delegates have integrity and they know all the aspirants very well. They know who have been with them a very long time, they know who are with them at the formation of the APC, somebody cannot just come with his money and change their mind.
“If they say money for money, in Ondo State, our people have principle and nobody can buy them with money. Let them bring their money, our delegates will collect and still do what is in their mind. So, the person who share biggest amount of money may not win the election because our people know where they are coming from and they know who they will give their votes.”
Abayomi enjoined all the delegates to be wary of moneybag politicians who might want to buy their votes and after winning the primary, they would become bad product for the party to sell to the people of the state in the governorship election.