The Presidential candidate of the Accord party, Professor Christopher Imumolen has faulted claims of Chief Afe Babalola that only candidates with bags of money were good enough to win the February presidential elections.
He stated this while fielding questions on Channels TV Politics Today, and cited several instances to support his claim.
He said, “With all due respect, I will like to disagree with our most learned elder statesman, Afe Babalola on his claims that the person with the deepest pocket in this year’s presidential race will ultimately win the elections.
“There are several instances, particularly since the advent of the 4th Republic in 1999 where money was never the determining factor in whom became Nigeria’s president,” Professor Imumolen began heatedly in his response.
“Let’s start with the 1999 presidential elections between Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP and Chief Olu Falae of the then AD.
“Obasanjo, if we’d recall, won that election despite not having bags of money to throw around. Infact, he had just returned from prison where he had no money or played any active politics before the elections.
“Then, came his successor Umar Yar’Adua. Yar’Adua, we also know had just finished his tenure as Katsina State governor and wasn’t one you could refer to as someone who could, solely on the strength of his wealth, win the country’s presidency.
“Even then, we had more people in the race who could have beaten him hands down were cash the sole determinant of who clinched the presidency. But at the end, he won.
“Never mind that he said the system that ushered him into power was flawed. The truth is that he won.
“Again, let’s look at current president, Muhammadu Buhari. We all know that if it came to who had the most cash to throw around, it would have been Dr Goodluck Jonathan who was then the incumbent president.
“Yet, against all odds, Buhari stormed to victory and he is just about completing his eight-year tenure as Nigeria’s president.
“So, these examples tell us that it is not necessarily the man with the deepest pocket who always ends up as Nigeria’s president.
“In this year’s presidential race, I think the people’s genuine wish to see a change from the old ways of doing things to a new one could prove the determining factor, rather than the now outdated method of trying to buy people’s conscience through prodigal spending that might not produce any results because our once gullible people have become wiser,” he added.