Former president Goodluck Jonathan has denied claims that he offered $5 million to the governorship running mate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat.
In a statement Sunday, Mr Jonathan described the claim as a “blatant lie apparently concocted by a wannabe politician desperate for votes in a campaign season.”
Mr Hamzat, a former commissioner for works in Lagos State, had claimed he rejected a $5 million bribe from Mr Jonathan during the 2015 elections.
Mr Jonathan lost the election to the current president, Muhammadu Buhari.
“In the first place this character is an obscure individual who in 2015 had neither a recognizable name nor political clout,” Mr Jonathan said in a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze.
“The point has to be clearly made that former President Jonathan has never met this man who was obviously not relevant in the national politics of 2015, let alone seek to offer him bribe.
“If the former President did not offer anyone bribe, having clearly acquitted himself as a man who does not believe in desperate politics, how on earth could he have sought to compromise an individual he didn’t even know and who obviously had no means of helping him politically?”
Mr Jonathan further described Mr Hamzat’s claims as the antics of a desperate politician seeking to apply subterfuge and outright lies to win public sympathy and votes.
“Assuming anybody had $5 million dollars to spend to better his political fortune as Mr. Hamzat claimed, why seek to waste it on man who was just a commissioner prior to 2015, and whose best outing so far is to function as a hand-picked running mate to a governorship candidate in the forthcoming 2019 elections?
“It is the action of people like Hamzat that conjures up in the minds of Nigerians the Biblical ‘Mark of the Beast’ to the effect that to be accepted in his party, one must be adept at telling lies.
“If this is how Mr. Hamzat wishes to anchor his own political doctrine on lies and name dropping, he should be reminded that those who follow this route do not go far either in politics or personal growth.”
Mr Jonathan challenged the Lagos APC running mate to name the place where the money was offered to him and the witnesses.
“We have always made the point that there should be a limit to these lies, if we must make progress as a democratic nation,” he said.
“Nigerians are not fools. It is high time those in positions of responsibility stopped running this country on lies.”