The Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), yesterday, said that some officials of the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan approached the body with $3m for the purpose of garnering support in the 2015 general elections.
The body, along with a group known as The Muslim Congress (TMC), said they rejected the government’s offer tagged: “religious fund”, meant to secure support of Muslims in Nigeria for the ex-president and his party-PDP, during the general elections early this year.
The Coordinator of CIO, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, who made this claim during the 22nd National Islamic Training Programme (NITP), holding at Odosengolu, near Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, added that the group suspected that the fund was a ploy to trap its leaders.
Shuaib, who is also the Executive Director/CEO, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, an arm of TMC, said: “It is not a secret, they came, offering us over three million dollars, we said no….It came through their proxies to us and we said no. And today we have been vindicated and it is not even part of our own culture to take bribe. We prefer to go hungry than to collect a bribe from somebody, that is unlawful.”
He said that some officials of the Jonathan-led administration (whose identities were not disclosed) approached the CIO with money but it rejected “because we know very well that it was a bait; it was a poison and you cannot eat and dine with the devil and think the devil will not come after you.”
Earlier, in his address at the formal opening of the programme with over 1, 500 participants, the Amir (President) of TMC, Dr Luqman AbdurRaheem, identified bad governance, corruption and godlessness as some of the factors responsible for the challenges facing Nigeria.
He maintained that the problem will remain with Nigeria until all Nigerians had attitudinal change, describing the concept of change as a vehicle to get to the Promised Land.
On Boko Haram, AbdurRaheem vowed that TMC will counter all indoctrination of Muslims in Nigeria by the extremist group, through education and sound Islamic knowledge.