The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has said over 400 clergymen in the state shared money offered as bribe to the Christian Association of Nigeria by the Peoples Democratic Party to support President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election.
The party, in a statement on Sunday, said some of the pastors drawn mostly from the Pentecostal bloc of the association, got between N50, 000 and N2 million from the N7 billion CAN allegedly received from the PDP and Mr. Jonathan.
It, however, praised the Edo State chairman of CAN, Peter Imasuen, for not participating in the sharing of the largesse.
A Borno-based pastor, Kallamu Musa-Dikwa, recently alleged that President Jonathan, who is also the candidate of the PDP for the March 28 election, gave the Christian body N7 billion to support him.
The clergyman, a former associate pastor with E.Y.N. Church in Maiduguri, said the money was routed through the national secretariat of CAN, which in turn shared N3 million each to its state branches.
Mr. Musa-Dikwa, who is who is the Executive Director, Voice of Northern Christian Movement, spoke in Kaduna a few weeks after the Governor of Rivers State and Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chibuike Amaechi, said the pastors were given N6 billion to back Mr. Jonathan.
The CAN has since denied the allegation.
The APC said on Sunday in the statement by its spokesperson, Godwin Erhahon, that an insider in the Christian body revealed to it at the weekend in Benin City how the money was shared.
It said “over four hundred pastors in Edo State, majority of whom are of the Pentecostal churches, shared from the bribe with some of them getting between five hundred thousand and fifty thousand naira each.”
It added that “a few others from the so-called super churches received as much as two million naira each because they claimed that their churches have more members.”
The party said it was informed that while the national leadership of CAN disbursed N4 billion to its branches, it kept back N3 billion and left an instruction that Catholic churches be left out of the largesse from the PDP
It said some of the bishops in Edo State were dissatisfied with the “greedy manner” their bosses shared the money.
The APC said it could reveal authoritatively that Mr. Imasuen was one of the state chairmen of CAN “who were godly and patriotic enough to reject the bribe which was given to Christian leaders to campaign for President Jonathan and condemn APC Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.”
The party also claimed that one of those who participated in the sharing of the money was already finding ways to make peace with Mr. Buhari.
PREMIUM TIMES could not reach Mr. Imasuen to speak on the APC claim.
However, Mr. Erhahon said on phone, Sunday, that its claim was authentic as some of the clergymen in Edo State confirmed the offering of bribe to the CAN.