by Azubuike Azikiwe
Governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, has made a serious allegation saying that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) bribed some Christian religious leaders with N6bn to campaign against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
According to Amaechi, the religious leaders have been circulating documents to make Nigerians believe that the APC and Buhari would islamise Nigeria if voted into power on February 14.
The Director-General of Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, made the comments while addressing a crowd at the state APC governorship rally in Emohua, on Tuesday, February 3, where he implored the religious leaders to return the bribe money to the Federal Government.
He said: “Some pastors collected N6bn and they are circulating document and telling you not to vote for an Hausa man; not to vote for a Muslim; that they want to Islamise Nigeria. Tell them to return our N6bn. They gave them N6bn; they should return it to the Federal Government coffers. They will tell you that Buhari wants to Islamise Nigeria; tell them we are too educated.”
“I am a Catholic, but no Catholic priest has told me that story right now in the Catholic Church because, I will ask him how. If any pastor tells you that, tell him to return the money. Nobody can Islamise Nigeria; they have commercialised Jesus Christ. They should stop commercialising the Christian faith. You know what Jesus Christ did in the temple? He chased them away.”
“We shall chase away those pastors who have collected money from the PDP to tell us lies. We shall chase them away on behalf of Christ.”
Speaking further, the governor said the election in Rivers state aas a referendum between him and President Goodluck Jonathan. “I told the President that the election in Rivers State is a referendum between him and myself. I told him anywhere I go, I will show what I have done. Let him show what he has done,” Amaechi added.
The national leadership of the PDP described the allegation by Amaechi as a “crime against God.”
While reacting to the allegations of the governor, the state Assistant Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Samuel Nwanosike, challenged him (Amaechi) to name the pastors that collected the N6bn.
He said: “It shows clearly that Governor Amaechi has conceded defeat and that Dr. Jonathan has what it takes to continue as the President of this country.”
In a similar vein, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, described the comments as a “Crime against God”, while also
“It is also a crime to the Church and Christianity. It is an insult on Christianity. To say that pastors are paid to support the President is height of recklessness. Such allegation is despicable and should be condemned. There was nothing like that from us as a party and there was nothing like that from our candidate.”