Ekiti 2022: Oni Seeks N3b Loan For Election, Pledges To Pay Back Eight Months After Victory

 

Desperate to win the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State, the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Engineer Segun Oni, has resorted to borrowing to finance his campaign activities as the expected campaign sponsors fail to provide money “for fear of failure in the election”.

Sources told Daily Inquirer that Oni estimated a conservative sum of N3b to fund his campaign and provide logistics on election day, including payments to party agents. According to the sources, Oni therefore approached a retired Army General, who is former Head of State (name withheld), and a South-South governor (name withheld) for funds.

According to the sources, Oni pledged to pay back in eight months after assumption of office,  but the lenders insisted on four months, fearing unforeseen political pressures that may take Oni’s attention from redeeming payment.

The sources said that Oni resorted to borrowing after he realised that his expected promoters had abandoned him. They explained that after realising that funding Ekiti election is a deliberate waste of money and efforts, the sponsors kept their money in their vaults.

A source explained: “Oni was sure of heavy financing of his campaign by his sponsors when he defected from PDP to SDP. Later, he started to see the reality when these sponsors would not pick his calls. When he realised that money would not come and his supporters were returning to their former parties, an idea was muted by one of his close aides for crowd-funding to raise money for campaign.

“But after two months and no substantial money could be raised through crowd-funding, one of his supporters again advised him to borrow the money. But another group of supporters raised an objection, arguing that such an arrangement would be counter-productive particularly if such a move is leaked to the public.

“The argument is that if leaked to the public, voters will feel that the money meant for their welfare will be diverted to campaign debts payment, which is dangerous as people will refuse to vote for Oni because of that.”

Another source close to Oni disclosed that when it became clear that the money would not come,   four trips were later made to the retired General before he agreed to lend Oni N2b on two conditions: he must pledge to refund the money in four months after victory in addition to returning to PDP one year after winning Ekiti election.

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The source added that the retired Army General would provide N2b while a Governor from the South South (name withheld) will provide N1b.

He further said:”Getting the cooperation of the retired General for N2b was easier than securing the confidence of the South South governor because he demanded that Asiwaju Segun Oni should take oath to pay back in four months after the election in addition to returning to PDP after victory. He had no choice than to agree.”

However, the source added that there were apprehensions when the lenders refused to make the money available on time as expected after signing agreement on repayment.

He said: “For now, we don’t know why the money is not yet ready after signing agreements on the conditions given by the lenders. That is why activities are very slow in SDP, moreso that money is not coming from the crowd-funding floated to finance the election.”

Another source said the frustration at raising funds forced Oni to curse those who will collect money from the opposition to vote on election day.

He said: “Oni is such a man that will not go on air to openly discuss about his problems or condemn anyone. But the desperation to win the election in the face of shortage of funds forced him to start cursing those who will use money to win the governorship election.

“More troubling for now is that no one is sure of when the money will be released, that is why everybody is disturbed because there is nothing to show that money will be available from anywhere if oga fails in his bid to secure these loans.”

Credit: Our Reporter

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