Former lawmaker, Senator Rufai Hanga, has narrated how President Muhammadu Buhari rejected a monetary donation from former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, in 2007.
In an interview with Daily Trust, Hanga said Sherrif brought the money to the President on the eve of the 2007 presidential election.
Hanga said Sherrif, an in-law to Buhari, was the only governor who donated to the president’s bid but Buhari rejected the money.
“During his second attempt, the governors were adamant. Nobody was ready to contribute. The only governor that was ready to volunteer was Ali Modu Sheriff, the then Borno State governor who gave N10m on the eve of the election.”
He said: “But the N10m didn’t reach Buhari. It was N9m that reached him on Friday evening whereas election was on the following Saturday morning. Some people said we shouldn’t accept it because, how do we spend the N9 million when the election is tomorrow? He (Buhari) rejected it.
“Whether it was returned (to Sheriff) or not, I don’t know. We went into the election like that and failed. The three committees sat and had an assignment and came back after some days. We met and deliberated. I was the chairman of one of the committees. I gave my report. The other committees too gave their reports. After deliberations, we went for NEC and decided to look for a small party and continue the struggle. There was a unanimous decision on this.
“We went for NEC but despite the unanimous decision by delegates, Buhari said, ‘thank you very much, but I am not leaving the party.’ But I stood up and said, ‘since you are not leaving the party, I am leaving the party.’ but I told myself that I would still be his man anywhere he is, whatever he does I would be there for him. But I told him my mind that I was leaving the party. I was still a serving senator then. He thanked me for the frankness.
“Anytime I was going to Kano, I visited him in his house in Kaduna. Any time I was coming to Abuja I go to his house in Kaduna. When I told him that I was registering a party, he was not happy; he turned his face away. Anytime you talk to him, you can easily know his mind. He was annoyed; he turned his face away from me. Since then, I never mentioned it to him again. One day, I was going to Abuja and I branched to his house. Then he told me, ‘Senator, you politicians drink politics like water in Kano.’ And I asked, ‘how?’ He said, ‘most of the things you told me have happened.’ And I said that I had been in this thing since my days in PRP in 1978. I have seen many things. And then he asked if I was actually registering a party. I said, yes, I am on it.”