Kaduna politician has earned praises after showing love to his community from a large stash of cash he received from presidential aspirants at the recently-concluded national convention of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Tanko Rossi Sabo, of Sanga Local Government Area, told Peoples Gazette he donated the money to his people because he felt they needed it more.
“I donated about N13 million to fund education for about 150 orphans, cover hospital bills for some elderly people and other donations,” Mr Sabo told The Gazette by telephone Wednesday night. “I am happy to help my people from the fruit of what I gathered at the convention in Abuja.”
Mr Sabo was amongst nearly 800 delegates from all over the country certified to take part at the PDP special convention that saw the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential candidate on May 29. The exercise was widely reported to have been grossly monetised by Mr Abubakar, his main challenger Nyesom Wike and 10 other aspirants.
He told The Gazette he was relentlessly courted by aspirants, with some offering him hotel accommodation at excessive rates.
“Immediately I got to Abuja some of the aspirants started calling me and some of them gave me N400,000 or N500,000 to go and lodge in any hotel of my choice,” Mr Sabo said. “But I slept in my car instead of looking for a luxurious place to sleep.”
Mr Sabo said the aspirants were generous with their cash giveaways but added that he was able to return to his constituency with so much money because he was disciplined and austere with his spending during the convention.
“I prefer to eat noodles and pepper soup than to dine at the Hilton for more than N20,000 per plate,” Mr Sabo said, adding that his supporters have lauded his prudent nature.
On whether or not he might be called in for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for displaying cash received from delegates, an act considered not necessarily illegal but morally objectionable, Mr Sabo said he had no fears or apologies for living up to the promise he made to his constituents being elected as a national delegate.
“I am not afraid of the EFCC because I spent the money I collected on my people,” he said. “Will EFCC tell me I didn’t do well by paying school fees for orphans and hospital bills for elderly people who have no means of livelihood?”
A spokesman for the EFCC did not immediately return a request seeking comments.