The Action Congress of Nigeria has denied selling the bid of its 2011 presidential candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, to the Peoples Democratic Party.
The embattled chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the ACN, Mohammed Soba, had on Friday accused the national leader of the party of selling the candidature of its presidential flag bearer in the 2011 election to President Goodluck Jonathan, who was PDP’s candidate, for $100m (N16bn).
In his reaction to the allegation, the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Lai Mohammed, described it as “absolute nonsense,” and challenged Soba to approach the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, if he had proof to substantiate his claim.
He said, “The allegation is absolute nonsense. It’s just a reaction of a person who wants to sit-tight on a position from which he has been duly removed. He has not only been removed from being the chairman of ACN in Kaduna State, he has also been suspended from the party.
“Why doesn’t he just approach the EFCC, if he thinks he is sure of what he is saying? Why he came out with this is because I issued a statement that we were going to court to stop the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission from conducting local government elections in the state because they are dealing with a faction of the party that has been rejected.”
Efforts to get Presidency’s reaction on Saturday were not successful as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, did not pick calls made to his mobile number.
It would be recalled that Jonathan surprisingly won with wide margin in the South-West states controlled by the ACN, except Osun State, where Ribadu managed a narrow lead.
Jonathan got as much as 1, 281, 688 votes as against Ribadu’s 427, 203 votes in Lagos State, which is considered the ACN’s stronghold, fueling rumours of an alleged last-minute accord between the ACN and PDP, especially after the merger between the ACN and the Congress for Progressive Change, led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd) failed.
According to an online news portal, Sahara Reporters, Soba claimed he was being witch-hunted for asking them to explain why they sold the bid for the presidency.
He added, “We challenge Lai Mohammed and the national secretary of the party, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, to tell the whole world why state chapters like Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Nassarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba and Kaduna states are all facing national leadership induced crises.”
Soba also described as empty, the threats by the ACN national leadership to sue the KSIEC for recognising him, insisting that he remains the chairman of the state chapter of the party.