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Presidency mum over N50 billion bribery allegation – As Jonathan’s largesse divides entertainers

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The Presidency is yet to respond to allegations of bribery circulating in the polity.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been accused of bribing traditional rulers, ethnic associations, entertainers and other interest groups even as his spokespersons seem to have resolved to ignore the serious allegations.

From ENCOMIUM Weekly’s investigations, billions of naira allegedly shared in US Dollars are being doled out to groups to secure their support for Jonathan’s second term.

As for entertainers, they got their share of the ‘National Cake’ over the weekend with the least of them reportedly smiling back home with about N250, 000.

“It was a dinner with the first family and we were well taken care of by the First Lady.  Don’t mind the guys saying we were given N1 million each.  I don’t know about that.  I don’t think any artiste got up to N300,000. Some of us didn’t even go there for money.”

Again in Lagos on Sunday, March 1, 2015, was yet another Meet-the-President outing, where President Jonathan interacted with 5000 youths.  Sources at the interactive session claimed he also settled some ‘youth leaders.’

More serious allegations of bribery against President Jonathan surfaced on the social media on Sunday (March 1) with the publisher of a popular news portal, Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore taking to his Twitter handle to raise concern over the billions the President is allegedly spending to woo voters, particularly in the South West.

Tweeting with the handle @Yelesowore on Sunday March 1, 2015, the investigative journalist claimed: “President Goodluck Jonathan has spent over $200 m bribing traditional rulers religions groups, ethnic clubs, youths and co-ops in the last three weeks.”

Mr. Sowore also alleged that, “some so-called first class traditional rulers, in the South West received as much as $250K stuffed inside paper bags in addition to Samsung tablets.”

Sowore equally confirmed speculation that some youths were massively bribed when President Jonathan visited Lagos on Sunday (March 1).  He tweeted @Yelesowore as the president’s meeting with select youths in Lagos was about to commence.

“GEJ dollar rain continues in Lagos today as some ‘youth’ organized by@Mobanikoro, @MrFixNigeria and Diezani step up to collect theirs.”

ENCOMIUM Weekly recalls it was the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) who first raised the alarm that Jonathan shared dollars to Lagosians when he spent five days in Nigeria’s commercial capital.

He said the president was holding meetings with different groups in order to win their favour and splashed dollars on them.

Governor Fashola spoke after inspecting projects in Lekki area of Lagos on Sunday, February 22, 2015.  During the five days, Jonathan reached out to different groups such as traditional rulers, cooperative societies, market women and others in his bid to garner support for his ambition which his critics say might be the main reason for the postponement of the elections from February to 28 March and 11 April.

The governor was reacting to a statement credited to Jonathan that he would liberate Lagosians from bondage.

Fashola asked the president to attempt to spend the five days he spent in Lagos at Chibok in Borno State.

“I want to assume that he did not make a statement that he would deliver Lagos residents from bondage. The question to ask Mr. President is whether he had come to free them from bondage.  He was here for five days meeting with different people and groups, distributing money in dollars. It is an un-presidential statement made in an act of desperation. That means he lived in bondage in five days if he had come into the state to free people. If he can live here for five days moving with patrol vehicles that we paid for, let him go and spend five days in Chibok and he will know what bondage is.”

Meanwhile, ENCOMIUM Weekly has also been reliably informed that the First Family lavished over N100 million on entertainers who were hosted over the weekend to further boost the President’s electoral chances at the March 28 poll.  A star actor who attended the dinner held at the Presidential Banquet Hall on Saturday, February 28, 2015, told us it was a privilege to wine and dine with the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the very popular actor revealed they were over 200 entertainers at the event beamed live on NTA.  He insisted nobody could have gone home with up to N300,000.  This means that the lucky entertainers might have collectively gone home with over N50 Million, while the presidency could have spent about the same amount to make them have a memorable gig with the Jonathans.

Curiously, artistes who were hosted at the Presidential Villa were mainly from the South East, while leading entertainers of South West origin, especially actors, were conspicuously absent at the presidential dinner.  Some of Jonathan’s guests were Duncan Mighty, Kcee, Eucharia Anunobi, Omoni Oboli, Ini Edo, Onyeka Onwenu, Bovi, Seyi Law, Ejike Asiegbu, Larry Koldsweat, Bob Manuel Odokwu, Timi Dakolo, Susan Peters, among many others.

“This tells you how politics has divided us.  Some of us from the East and South South are for Jonathan and the PDP, while the majority of our people (artistes) from the other side are supporting Buhari and the APC.  If not for Yinka Davies, Seyi Law and few other artistes of Yoruba descent, you would conclude it’s an ethnic affair,” our source added.

Nigerian artistes are really making mega bucks this political dispensation with some of them performing for the two major political parties (the PDP and the APC). In Lagos State, entertainers work for both parties, either for monetary benefits or based on their conviction.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Dr. Reuben Abatti maintained disturbing silence on the multiple allegations of bribery and corruption hanging on his boss’ neck, when ENCOMIUM Weekly called him on Monday, March 2, 2015.

He also shunned our text message on the controversial issue rocking the political-sphere.

“Good morning sir, ENCOMIUM Weekly needs your response to the rumours making the rounds that President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly bribed South West traditional rulers with $250, 000 (N52.5 Million). It was also alleged that the President has spend over $200m (over N40 billion) to bribe traditional rulers, religious groups, youths and corporative societies in the last three weeks.

“Similarly, we have also scooped that the Presidency splashed over N50 million on Nigerian artistes at a Dinner with the First Family on Saturday, February 28, 2015.  It is important you please, confirm or deny these weighty allegations.”

– UCHE OLEHI

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