Fresh facts emerged on Thursday about the allegation by the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, that President Goodluck Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party gave some pastors N6bn to campaign against the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in the 2015 presidential election.
A Borno State-based Pastor, Kallamu Dikwa, said the money allegedly given to the pastors by the Presidency was N7bn and not N6bn as alleged by Amaechi, who doubled as the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation.
Amaechi had alleged that some unnamed leaders of the PDP paid N6bn to Christian clerics to campaign against the APC.
But reacting to the Northern States Christian Elders Forum, who challenged Amaechi to name those pastors involved in the bribery scandal, Dikwa told journalists in Kaduna on Thursday that the said money was channelled through the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Dikwa, who is the Executive Director of the Voice of Northern Christian Movement, said CAN got the said money (N7bn) on January 26, 2015 and disbursed N3m each to state Chairmen of the CAN across the country.
He was also an Associate Pastor with the E. Y. N. Church (Enklesiyan Yan’uwan A Nijeriya) Farm Centre, Dikwa Road, Maiduguri, Borno State, under Rev. Emmanuel Kwajihe between 2002-2004.
But the Presidency and CAN had denied this allegation. While the Presidency said that Dikwa was an agent of the APC, the General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Ayake, maintained that the allegation was total falsehood.
However, Dikwa, said the CAN had started threatening Christians in the state (Borno) that they must re-elect President 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 each to the state chairmen of the CAN. The money was handed over to the CAN leadership on 26th January, 2014.
“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 refused to vote for Jonathan. And the CAN officials are now campaigning that if Buhari emerges President he will islamise Nigeria; and that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo will resign soon after Buhari wins to give way for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to emerge Vice President.
“And at the same time, CAN is threatening Christians in Borno if they didn’t vote for Jonathan. And the same CAN continues to blackmail Prof. Yemi Osinbajo that Islamic world has bought Osinbajo with millions of dollars, all this is because of the N7bn bribery that they have received from Jonathan.”
But Ayake in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents in Ilorin on Thursday said, “At no time did CAN collect money from Jonathan to preach against Buhari or to give the impression that Buhari wants to islamise Nigeria.”
Ayake added, “I do not think I will lower ourselves, our integrity and our positions to somebody who is fake, who called himself a pastor when he is not; a liar, somebody who does not even know his left from his right. I know the person, if I want to comment, I will be lowering myself and my integrity to such a thing. Please that person is not what he claims to be.
“What he said is a lie. It did not happen. It will not happen.
“He is a liar. We should not waste our time on him. He is not a pastor. He has never been a pastor. He is just a liar. If I should reply, I would be lowering myself. What he said is between him and his God. Let him know that when this life is over, we are going to stand before God to give an account of what we said or did in this life. Let him continue with his lies, God will catch up with him one day.”
Also, the Presidency said that Dikwa was making this allegation because he belonged to the APC.
It said that was the reason he would continue to say anything that could advance the interest of his political party.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents.
Abati said, “Is the pastor a member of the APC? He probably belongs to the APC. Since he is a member of the APC, he will echo, modify and amplify whatever Amaechi said.
“I think before you do anything, you should establish the political affiliation of that pastor.
“He must be a member of the APC. Otherwise, he will face his primary responsibility as a pastor.
“I have no doubt that the man is a member of the APC. As a member of the APC, he will say whatever he feels will advance the course of his party.”