As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared the September 22 gubernatorial election in Osun State inconclusive and fixed rerun for Thursday, political parties have allegedly commenced move to buy votes.
The INEC returning officer for the exercise, Prof. Joseph Adeola, while declaring the final results, said electoral guidelines require that the margin between the two leading contestants must be in excess of total registered voters where an election was cancelled.
He explained that the margin between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was 353, while there are 3498 registered voters in the affected areas, making up of seven units, and in the four local government areas of Orolu, Osogbo, Ife South and Ife North.
It was discovred that hundreds of agents from the two leading political parties, APC and PDP have besieged communities where rerun would be held to purportedly negotiate votes for money, ranging from N50 to N100,000 per vote.
A credible source at Alekuwodo, Ward 5, in Osogbo metropolis, who spoke to our reporter on the condition of anonymity, said both parties approached her early Monday morning to negotiate with her.
“The first party came with over 20 agents to discuss with us, they first contacted that woman operating a kiosk at the junction to mobilise those people who have Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) promised to pay N50, 000 immediately we produce our cards, and pay us N50,000 as balance after election on Thursday.
“I saw them writing down the numbers on the PVCs of those who agreed to the bargain and return those cards to them, I wonder what they want to do with those numbers. ”
Also, at Laro unit, Ward 4, Isale-osun, Osogbo, voters were seen in clusters discussing about the juicy offer made by the two parties, as some of them frowned at the development, urging people to vote their conscience.
In the same vein, a clergy at Ifon, in Orolu Local Government, who simply identified himself as Pastor Joel, said an agent came to the premises of his church to negotiate with him.
“He said he would give each member with PVC a sum of N50,000, I could see that desperate intent in him. Anyway, I told him pointblankly that such could not happen in my church.
“He went away and another one came, he spoke to me as if they have seen each other. I later discovered that there were many of them on the street.”
Meanwhile, there were similar reports in both Ife South and Ife North, where both parties allegedly struggled to lure electorate with cash ahead of the September 27 supplementary election.
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