I should have been a delegate (or dollargate)! (2)
It was then that I stumbled on a Sahara Reporters’ report that Nwike, the commander general of 101Waterfront Brigade, PH, spent N34 billion on his failed presidential quest out of which he invested N12 billion on delegates and N5.5 billion on PDP leadership. The figures per capita for Dollargate procurement was quoted as between $25k and $30ks for the Atikulated fellow and $15k-$40k for Nwike.
One delegate claimed to have collected up to $100k (N60m)! It is good to note that Nwike has been a ‘government pickin’ since 1999, when he became an LGA chairman. So, where is the money from?
The following week, it was reported that the Jagaban paid $25,000 per Ogun Dele-Gate but $10,000 for the Adamawa crowd. (Price discrimination!) The Adamawa delegates were also saintly because they allegedly rejected the $5,000 from PYO for being too low! They should have collected both: nothing would have happened; it is just income redistribution.
It was alleged that PYO initially wanted to play Obi (or his agents wanted to privatise the $) before he changed his mind and offered the meagre $5000. Even though naira fell out of favour during these primary and secondary processes, these figures range from N9 million to N24 million per ordinary Dollargate! There were people who bought the delegates wholesale and then auctioned their votes at the retail market. You can also imagine the case of the Bourdillonian who brazenly bought both the delegates and aspirants.
Can you imagine how much each aspirant costs? That was why Reno Omokri declared that the APC delegates ‘will never be poor in their lives again’; and crowned them the real winners of the convention.
The same process of delegate procurement was the reason why, as reported by The Guardian, private businesses have been crowded out of the forex market because the politicians had mopped out all the dollars
That is why I believed that I should just have been a delegate and raked in these humongous sums without hassles. The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has estimated that the $25000 per Dele-Gates covered the salary of a Nigerian Professor for three years.
I would not have been an ordinary delegate. I would have started from the state primaries (Lagos delegates received N500,000 to return the oga-at the top), mopped up whatever is available at the NASS primaries, collected from all the presidential contestants of PDP (due to the nature of the process, nobody would have taken me to Okija-shrine or forced me to jump-and-pass a coffin containing dead human-beings, scorpions and crocodiles or eat bleeding human suya) after which I would decamp to APC and make the final haul.
Surely I will garner up to $200,000 and live on $4000 monthly until the next primaries. I may rather decide to be frugal and live on $2000 monthly for the next eight years, in case I fail to make it in 2027.
I will also use this time to wangle and position myself as a wholesale delegate-merchant (WDM) by the next election. A WDM is the one who serves as an agent to the political gamblers and lottery-players (aspirants); who buys the delegates wholesale and then retails to the highest bidder according to market forces.
In all this, I won’t bother with Peter Obi, Sowore or Umeadi and their parties; these would be bad market!
However, it is not that straight forward and easy because the higher the returns, the higher the risks and here, we are talking of windfall returns. Our people say that a snake does not swallow another snake and that con-men do not con themselves. But in the just concluded political bazzars, snakes swallowed snakes and the ‘conners’(con-men) were conned.
For instance, we have learnt a new method of public counting in which the space between 80 and 99 is fallow, and the figures still balanced at the end of it all. Delegates collected money but failed to vote for the political gamblers.
Some of the political gamblers gave the delegates fake dollars (more prevalent in the fattest envelope) while some even received fake alerts. A woman cursed her party after she spent N8 million to procure the delgateship and received fake dollars: it was her season of negative double portion!
She is like the thief who complained that people were no longer honest after he was short-changed by his victims! Delegates collected N2 million from Adam Sambo (son of the former VP) with N1.5 million in promissory notes but he came last. He asked for a refund (but what is the source of the money?)
However, one Suleiman who decamped from APC to PDP just before the primaries, gave out between N3.5 million and N4 million and… he won! Another failed gambler in Niger State retrieved his money from the delegates, allegedly with the help of bandits.
Senator Akinyelure, PDP, Ondo State retrieved vehicles from delegates and requested for a refund of the dollars. In Anambra, the APC leader allegedly swallowed about $500,000 meant for the delegates, who had to do aluta at Abuja BAT’s office.
May be the leader bought the delegates wholesale and started retailing at higher prices and the delegates, seeing the retail price, wanted to eat their cake and have it.
The above narratives must be the reasons why Okey Chika Jerry, a former governorship candidate, BOOT party, described the delegates as worse than terrorists. That is why Mazi Ohuabunwa who got only one vote (better than braggadocios Rochas and Bakare, who started with Thus said the lord!) said that only few men remember their surnames whenever dollars are placed on the table.
The same process of delegate procurement was the reason why, as reported by The Guardian, private businesses have been crowded out of the forex market because the politicians had mopped out all the dollars.
They have become the CBN which mops up liquidity! It is also the reason why the Naira/$ rate has been dancing awilo in recent times because the registered and unregistered BDCs ran out of $.
However, there is a strange case of a modern-day ‘repentant thief’, (Luke, 23:32-4). who shared his largess in cash and kind with his constituents. Tanko R Sabo, PDP delegate from Sanga LGA, Kaduna State shared N7m between the poor(School fees, hospital bills, clothes) and his support groups.
He brought it cash to the market square! Unlike the woman who spent 8m to procure her own, there was evidence that Tanko campaigned for it. And EFCC is still using binoculars to search for evidences of vote-buying.
But this is not just a Nigerian affair. Patrick Lumumba of Keny lamented how he campaigned vigorously, holding 250 townhall meetings while his opponent who was unknown did not campaign but showed up a day to the elections, distributed money and won.
That was when he concluded that Africans are not moved by ideas; they are moved by their stomachs. In January 2020, Kwabena O Aduomi, a former Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways who was also MP for Ejisu Constituency, paid GHC5000 ( circa N263000 as at 11/6/22)to each of the 600 delegates and still lost .
He consoled himself by quipping that politics is a game( or rather, a gamble) for the brave. Robert A Badiako also paid GHC1000 to each of the delegates in the recent regional primaries and also lost. So, procuring delegates or payees voting against the payer, is not limited to Nigeria.
So next time you see me hanging around Bourdillon or in one exclusive corner of Adamawa, know that I am planning for 2027 elections. That is assuming that Obi did not win this election because as I see him, he will scatter a lot of things. Don’t bother about my lectures; I will do it online! Or at worse, I will take a sabbatical!
Meanwhile, the latest definition of democracy is the process of stealing the people’s money to buy the people to remain in office or Government of EFCC alumni by EFCC alumni and for EFCC alumni!!! In both cases, the people are worse-off!
Glad to announce that I have started practicing the science and art of delegateship! I was a delegate in the just concluded Ohaneze-Lagos Elections. The report on my experience is ready but, it is for sale!