There seems to be no end to the controversy surrounding the allegation by Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, that President Goodluck Jonathan gave pastors across the country N6bn to vote against the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in the presidential election.
A Borno-based Pastor, Kallamu Musa-Dikwa, who weighed in on the controversy Thursday, said that the money that was disbursed to pastors by the president was actually N7bn and not N6bn as widely reported by Amaechi, who is also the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation.
The Rivers governor had raised not a few eyebrows recently when he alleged that unnamed leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party paid N6bn to some pastors to campaign against Buhari and the APC.
The governor’s allegation caused a stir among Christian clerics, with the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and the Northern State Christian Elders Forum asking Amaechi to mention names rather than make a sweeping allegation.
But Musa-Dikwa, who is the Executive Director of the Voice of Northern Christian Movement, shed more light yesterday on the controversy in Kaduna, when he said the money was channelled through the Christian Association of Nigeria.
He said the CAN got the said money (N7bn) on January 26, 2015 and disbursed N3m to each State chapter of the CAN across the country.
Musa-Dikwa, who was an Associate Pastor with the E. Y. N. Church, Farm Centre, Dikwa Road, Maiduguri, Borno State, under Rev. Emmanuel Kwajihe between 2002 and 2004, said claimed that CAN had started threatening Christians in the state (Borno) that they must re-elect Jonathan in the rescheduled election.
He said, “It was N7bn that was given to the CAN leadership by President Goodluck Jonathan. They (CAN) later disbursed N3m to the State Chairmen of the CAN.
“The money was handed over to the CAN Leadership on 26th January, 2015.
“Actually, President Jonathan is using CAN President, and it was the CAN President who collected the monies and shared N3m to the CAN executives in each state.
“And some Pentecostal Bishops also collected their share. Actually, the money is not N6bn, it is N7bn. This is what I know. One of the CAN officials from Abuja told me that they have collected the money. The corruption in CAN is terrible. They are corrupting the body of Christ because of money.
“They are now threatening Christians in Borno State that they will deal with anybody, who refuses to vote for Jonathan. And the CAN officials are now campaigning that if Buhari emerges President, he will Islamise Nigeria; and that Osinbajo collected monies from Islamic world; and that the same Osinbajo will resign soon after Buhari wins to give way for Tinubu to emerge Vice President”.
In a counter-reaction, CAN’s Director of National Issues, Elder Sunday Oibe, said it was a mere allegation.
“In law, they say, he who alleges must prove, it is left for those who alleged to prove their allegations and name the Pastors that were given money”, he said.
Similarly, the Secretary of CAN in Kaduna, Reverend Sunday Ibrahim said, “This is state CAN and I don’t know whether money was given to anybody, but whoever can prove this should come out and do so. I don’t know anything about this issue”.