Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike on Saturday allegedly rained dollars on delegates to the presidential convention of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja.
This was even as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stormed the venue of the convention to monitor developments
Delegates who spoke with journalists, separately said they received $10,000 and $15,000 each from the coordinators of Messrs Abubakar and Wike respectively.
They however said some of them got up to $20,000 (about N12m) from the two leading aspirants.
“At first Atiku and Wike gave us 10,000 and 15,000 dollars each, but when Atiku learnt about what Wike offered, he has now started reaching out to us to level up the tally,” said one of the delegates from Kano.
He added that the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, who is also contesting, has given them $5,000 each.
“Some aspirants, like Bala Mohammed, are not sharing the money across the board, they share it sparingly. Only Atiku and Wike are sharing with all delegates,” one of the delegates said.
Consequently, such aspirants are hiding their delegates in hotels in Abuja to prevent them from being hijacked by the highest bidder.
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“The vote canvassers are all around, and the process appears like an auction. I believe we could get from 40 to 60,000 dollars each before the end of the exercise,” another delegate said.
A number of delegates from Edo and Jigawa states who spoke on the condition of anonymity corroborated the position of their Kano counterparts, saying some of them have already collected up to $40,000.
A coordinator of one of the leading candidates said some of the delegates were brought to the nation’s capital in charter flights, fed, and lodged in hotels at the expense of the presidential aspirants.
“You have to hide your delegates, otherwise they will be up for grab. Some aspirants make mouthwatering offers and ask them to take the oath of commitment,” he said.
Meanwhile, 810 delegates to the convention will elect the presidential candidate of the PDP on Saturday.