Senate President Bukola Saraki has reportedly started paying money to delegates at the Peoples Democratic Party’s national convention, marking perhaps the first move in an expected flurry of payouts which aspirants are keen on raining on delegates to win support for the presidential nomination.
Mr Saraki paid out $1,000 per delegate at about noon on Saturday, hours before voting opens in the convention, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from delegates, including those who received the largesse.
“We have received our first goodwill from the Senate President Bukola Saraki,” a delegate from Nasarawa State told PREMIUM TIMES. “It is our first dollars here, but we know more would still come from other aspirants, they have been calling us since yesterday.”
A spokesperson for the Saraki campaign did not immediately return calls for comments. But two sources in his campaign who were amongst those who coordinated the payout stashed in campaign paraphernalia have corroborated the claim to PREMIUM TIMES.
The top lawmaker is perhaps the first to pay out cash to influence the choice of delegates. At least 4,000 delegates are expected to vote for 12 aspirants when the exercise commences at this stadium in a few hours’ time.
It is still early in the day, as politician insiders tell PREMIUM TIMES that the payout would rise as voting kick off.
“Do not be surprised if they hike the rate to $4,000, this is not your average convention,” a source attached with the campaign of one of the top-four contenders told PREMIUM TIMES.
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