In an audio clip that has gone viral on social media, Senate President Bukola Saraki has said he paid billions to campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari in 30 states of the federation.
The audio clip was posted on Twitter by Kayode Ogundamisi, a social commentator, on Friday.
From the 33-minute clip, it appeared Saraki (who spoke in Yoruba) was in a political meeting with youth, judging from the details of the conversation and the response from the crowd.
He listed reasons he eventually left the All Progressives Congress (APC), premising his decision on the fact that his people were not allocated slots when it came to positions within parastatals of the federation.
His words: “From the top, use me as an example. Between 2014 and 2015 when we left the PDP, that we took charge of the campaign for the APC, we went round all the states. There was no state in Nigeria that I did not campaign for Buhari. Up till the time election held in 2015, as at Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday till when elections were conducted on Saturday, out of the 36 states, I paid for campaigns in 30 states. There were payments of N400million, N300million, and the like. The only six states I knew nothing about were the six states in the South-West. Aside these six states, for all other states, right from my phone, I was contacting the banks on what to do.
“The consolation for spending this amount was that when the administration won, when it was time for appointments — remember I used to tell majority of those in the state that we were all going to Abuja — some of our people would be in Road Maintenance, NPA, among others, because I know that even if it’s just one Kwara person who is the DG of UBEC, we know what he can do with his position; even if it’s one million or two million.
“How can one go through so much ‘wahala’ and spend billions and when they get there… Even if you don’t want to give us positions, there are other offers. The point I’m making is not that I want to make trouble or it is my intention for the youth to go through what they are going through. That’s why I’m very pained. As it affects you, it also affects me. That’s why I said it’s not possible for me to work with those people again. It’s not about me. What do they want to offer me?
“It’s a risk to challenge the government. It’s better one just maintains peace. It’s not easy to challenge the government of the day. But, my point is that I cannot do it because I have an agreement that I would not deceive you. We did so much. When it was 2018, I came and told you that I was no longer with the APC, I’m sure some of you would have wondered why. However, I’m sure with what you have seen in the last one, two months, I’m not a politician who likes trouble, because for the other side, their politics is to make trouble with me.”