The APC and the PDP trade blames over allegations of vote-buying on Friday, accusing each other of trying to sway voters by offering electorate money for their votes.
The PDP accused the ruling party of planning to buy votes with billions of naira in order to manipulate the people to vote for the ruling party’s candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
The opposition party denied that its candidate in the election, Ademola Adeleke, was collecting bank details of the electorate through a WhatsApp number in order to buy their votes.
He said the allegation was a rumour and that Adeleke would play by the rules of the election.
The PDP Chairman in Osun State, Mr. Soji Adagunodo, who said this on Friday at a press conference at the party secretariat, noted that the party had detected several means through which the APC wanted to rig the election.
Adagunodo said, “We wish to alert the general public to the planned monetisation of the Osun State governorship election, especially the voting process, by the APC. Towards this ignoble end, several helicopters loaded with cash were flown into the Government House between the hours of 4pm and 8pm on Thursday.
“The money, which we were reliably informed about run into billions of naira, was contributed by state governors elected on the platform of the APC to enable the party to induce voters at various polling units.
“In addition, each of the 67 local government council development areas in Osun State was made to cough up N12.5m for the same purpose. The plan of the APC, as gathered from very credible sources, was to buy votes with a sum ranging from N5,000 to N10,000 each at the polling units.
“It is quite unfortunate that a government which did not find it compelling to pay salaries and allowances of its workforce for 34 months could resort to attempting to buy the conscience of voters in this election.
But, when contacted, a chieftain of the APC in Osun State, Mr. Sola Fasure, who is also the media aide to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, asked the PDP to provide evidence of its allegations.
In defence of the ruling party, Fasure said the opposition party had started inducing voters ahead of the election, adding that the PDP raised the allegation as a smokescreen to divert attention from the alleged electoral fraud the party had perfected.
He said, “The PDP and its candidate have been sending messages out to obtain account numbers of the people whose vote they want to buy. They are using this allegation to cover their own heinous and sinister practice of trying to induce voters.
“They are making allegations without evidence but we have evidence of them trying to induce voters. They are the ones actually sending messages and trying to induce these voters with cash. They have been obtaining bank accounts and it is all over the state. Everybody knows but they are using the press conference as a means to divert attention from them so that they can perpetrate that criminal activity of subverting the election and inducing voters.
“We are not giving out money to anybody; anyone who claims to have collected money from us should come out to the public and say it. We have the strategy of winning elections by going out to canvass for votes and they have the strategy of taking shortcut by paying to induce voters and to circumvent the electoral process. They have started inducing voters already but they will fail woefully.”
Vote-buyers now doing electronic transfers – INEC chairman
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday said the commission had recently observed increasing voters’ inducement through electronic transfers to influence their choice of voters on the day of the election.
According to a release by INEC on Friday, Yakubu led a team of national commissioners to the EFCC on Thursday to look at further steps that could be taken to address the vote-buying and selling menace.
Yakubu said, “Of immediate concern is the election we are holding on Saturday in Osun State and it is going to be the last major election before the 2019 general elections. We have taken steps as a commission, but we need the support of the EFCC in this respect. Vote-buying and selling is giving our democracy and elections a bad reputation. Also, institutions like the EFCC having the powers to arrest, investigate and prosecute can help to stem this ugly tide.
“We have also recently observed increasing inducement through electronic transfers, whereby money is transferred into the accounts of some voters in order to influence their decisions on Election Day. We believe that you have both the law and the capacity on your side to help us in this respect.
“We implore the EFCC to also monitor campaign finances of political parties and their candidates. We don’t want the moneybags to determine our democracy. We want the votes of the people to determine who wins in our elections.”
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