Bags of money no guarantee to win 2023 presidency – Imumolen replies Afe Babalola

Accord party’s presidential candidate Professor Christopher Imumolen has openly kicked into touch claims that only candidates with bags of money were good enough to win this year’s presidential elections.
The country’s youngest presidential candidate was registering his contrary posture on what elder statesman, Chief Afe Babalola said about the role money would play in determining who won this year’s presidential elections.
In his message to the nation in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on New Year’s Day, the renowned legal luminary had said the winner of February’s highly anticipated presidential polls will be one who had a seemingly inexhaustible war chest of cash to sway votes his way.
“The 2023 presidential elections is not going to be won by one who thinks he can make the difference. Neither will it be the person with the right age, health, education or patriotism.
“Rather, it will be the person who has made money in this country, the person with the deepest pocket that will win the elections,” Babalola had said.
But reacting while fielding questions in a popular Channels TV talkshow, ‘Politics Today’, on Thursday night, Professor Imumolen poured cold water on Babalola’s claims, citing several instances to support his position on the issue.
“With all due respect, I will like to disagree with our most learned elder statesman, Afe Babalola on his claims that the person with the deepest pocket in this year’s presidential race will ultimately win the elections.
“There are several instances, particularly since the advent of the 4th Republic in 1999 where money was never the determining factor in whom became Nigeria’s president,” Professor Imumolen began heatedly in his response.
“Let’s start with the 1999 presidential elections between Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP and Chief Olu Falae of the then AD.
“Obasanjo, if we’d recall, won that elections despite not having bags of money to throw around. Infact, he had just returned from prison where he had no money or played any active politics before the elections.
“Then, came his successor Umar Yar’Adua. Yar’Adua, we also know had just finished his tenure as Katsina State governor and wasn’t one you could refer to as someone who could, solely on the strength of his wealth, win the country’s presidency.
“Even then, we had more people in the race who could have beaten him hands down were cash the sole determinant of who clinched the presidency. But at the end, he won.
“Never mind that he said the system that ushered him into power was flawed. The truth is that he won.
“Again, let’s look at current president, Muhammadu Buhari. We all know that if it came to who had the most cash to throw around, it would have been Dr Goodluck Jonathan who was then the incumbent president.
“Yet, against all odds, Buhari stormed to victory and he is just about completing his eight-year tenure as Nigeria’s president.
“So, these examples tell us that it is not necessarily the man with the deepest pocket who always ends up as Nigeria’s president.
“In this year’s presidential race, I think the people’s genuine wish to see a change from the old ways of doing things to a new one could prove the determining factor, rather than the now outdated method of trying to buy people’s conscience through prodigal spending that might not produce any results because our once gullible people have become wiser,” he said.

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