31st May, 2013
Adams Oshiomhole, governor of the Nigerian southern state of Edo, has denied reports linking the present political travails of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of River State to the donation of N500 million to his second term election campaign.
The governor in a press statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said the claims by an ‘unnamed PDP’ chieftain’ to the effect that Amaechi gave the money to support his Edo state counterpart during his campaign, published on Thursday 30 May by one or the national dailies, was malicious and misleading.
Oshiomhole said he would have ignored the allegation as another spurious, ridiculous and roguish one, but for the sake of history and posterity, he needed to debunk it.
“To state the fact, there was no time that the Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi donated any money, let alone the sum of N500m either directly or by proxy, to the Campaign funds of the Comrade Governor, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. Again, we wish to state unequivocally that there was no time that the Rivers State Governor spent two nights in Benin City before, during and after the Campaigns of the Comrade Governor.
“We find it utterly misleading for anyone to deliberately raise unverifiable claims just to give the Rivers State Governor a bad name and portray the Edo State Governor in bad light with respect to campaign funds and management of same. The relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2006 [as amended] frown at such bogus donations by either an individual or corporate body for the campaign of any individual candidate running for election. In fact, if anyone is in the breach of such provisions, it is the PDP.”
He said the Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation was very conscious of the requirement of the law with respect to donation, reason why it embarked on public fund raising dinners in Lagos, Abuja and Benin City. All those who made donations to the second term campaign of the performing Governor Oshiomhole were well captured in our reports and duly appreciated. There was no where that the Rivers State Governor was captured as having donated, let alone such a whooping sum of N500m.
“But for a country and a democracy such as ours, there should be no crime for any Governor to honour the invitation of the Comrade Governor on his second term inauguration, especially that of the duly elected Chairman of the Governors’ Forum. The beauty of democracy and credible elections is the exhibition of the spirit of sportsmanship by the loser and his Party, and not this invidious show of hostility by the opposition PDP.