Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former Minister of State for Education, says about 3,150 Nigerians contributed money and yams to purchase his N100 million All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nomination form.
“I have members of the House of Representatives from 1992 who endorsed me, even before they contributed money. Some have paid N1,000 each. One man from Nasarawa gave me 150 yams from his farm to sell. People are investing with the hope that there may be a new Nigeria,” said the former junior minister, who left President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime on May 10 to join the presidential race.
He said his aspiration was about Nigerians contributing to a future they wanted.
“I must agree with you that we have a monetised politics, but I can assure you that we have a President Muhammadu Buhari elected who didn’t have money. I am only presenting myself to serve. I am not sponsored by the oil industry, so the only people who can sponsor me are Nigerians. Three thousand one hundred fifty people made contributions, and we bought these forms,” added Mr Nwajiuba.
On the possibility of the party coming up with a consensus candidate, Mr Nwajiuba explained that he would abide by the party’s decision.
He disclosed that a recent meeting of presidential aspirants from the South-East failed to adopt a consensus candidate.
“The South-East does not want to arrive at a consensus. South-East wants to work with Nigerians. We have only seven presidential aspirants from the South-East in the APC, and that is very small, but I am sure out of this seven, we have those in their 70s and in their 60s,” Mr Nwajiuba reasoned. “We have those in their 50s. We have every type you need. Nigeria must have the full breadth of Igbo diversity.”
He added, “Any type you need, Igbo people have it. So, what we said yesterday was that anyone that is chosen, we are going to back him or her.