Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has offered to sponsor five persons to Saudi Arabia in the next Hajj pilgrimage for returning the money he gave them as delegates during the All Progressives Congress primaries, which he lost.
The senator made this known on Thursday when he spoke with National Assembly correspondents about his loss.
Adeyemi scored 43 votes during the primaries won by Sunday Karimi, who got 288 votes.
Muyiwa Aina came second with 73 votes.
The senator accused the hierarchy of the APC of being unfair to him in the primaries.
He said: “Normally, we give some support to delegates to augment their expenses, transport, feeding and accommodations.
“But don’t ask me how much.
“Delegates from a particular local government, which is predominantly inhabited by Muslims, were not allowed to vote for me because the returning officer, who is from that local government and equally a Muslim, asked them to support Sunday Karimi, who is from a neighbouring federal constituency to mine.
“This local government is called Koton Karfe.
“A week after the election, five of them came to Abuja and they are all Muslims.
“They said to me that in Islam, it is haram (prohibited) to take what does not belong to you.
“So, senator, the money you gave for feeding, accommodation and transport to support us, we have returned all your money because we were not allowed to vote for you.
“But you are our candidate.
“They bust into tears, that they had been denied.
“But please, take our photographs for record purposes and future.
“This is your money.
“I looked at them and said you have endeared Islam to my heart even though I’m a Christian.
“You returned the money?
“Please go with the money.
“I have blessed this money for you.
“They started crying and I assured them that next year, the five of you, I will send you to Makkah.
“If your faith in Islam is like this, then you have made me respect Islam the more.
“I have sponsored not less than 400 Muslims to Makkah.
“But for five Muslims to return the money I gave to them back to me and said it is haram, I was moved emotionally.
“I never knew we still have Nigerians like these people.
“They returned the money and said they were denied to vote for me.
“I took their pictures.”