Accord Party (AP) presidential candidate, Professor Christopher Imumolen has condemned claims that only candidates with bags of money are good enough to win the presidential election.
Imumolen opposed the position of elder statesman, Chief Afe Babalola about the role money would play in determining the winner.
The country’s youngest presidential candidate issued a statement at the weekend in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti capital.
“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 said.
Reacting on Channels TV Talkshow, ‘Politics Today’, Imumolen criticised Babalola’s claims, citing several instances to support his opinion.
“With all due respect, I 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.
“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”, the AP flagbearer added.