APC, PDP in war of words over alleged votes buying

By Jubril Bada,  Adekola Afolabi &  Kehinde Oluwatayo
Ondo state chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have engaged in a war of words over the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The ruling APC in the state alleged that the opposition PDP engaged in massive votes buying which, it argued, gave the PDP presidential candidate as well as some National Assembly candidates of the party undeserved victory at the polls.

But in a swift reaction, the PDP said it was not ready to join issues with the APC.

According to the state chairman of the APC, Ade Adetimehin, the PDP in the state threw decency to the wind and blatantly engaged in massive buying of votes across the 18 Local Government areas of the state.

He asserted that the development was not good for the nation’s democracy, emphasising that politics has been bastardized and elections have been monetized in the state.

Adetimehin said what governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has done in the state in the last two years in terms of infrastructure and overall development of the state were enough to give him landslide victory in both the presidential and National Assembly elections.

He noted that the achievements of the governor in the last two years were spectacular as his administration surpassed previous administrations in term of road construction and other amenities.

He regretted that politics in Nigeria has been monetised as a lot of money was spent on elections in the country. “Without money you cannot be a successful politician,” he noted.

“In those days, people voted for ideology and manifestoes of a party but now, it is otherwise.”

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He, however, appealed to the people of the state, especially the electorate to come out en masse in next Saturday’s  State House of Assembly election and vote massively for the APC to enable the executive arm of government provide more dividends of good governance to the people.

The APC chairman noted that the only one road which “leads to his Idanre local government has been increased to two by the present APC government under its aggressive infrastructural drive.”

He added that the party would immediately embark on enlightement and sensitisation of voters on the danger inherent in votes buying, saying that the APC government in the state would not abandon the ongoing infrastructural development and welfare of workers through regular payment of salary including offsetting six months arrears to buy votes.

Adetimehin said he was  optimistic  that the APC would win all the 26 Assembly seats in the Saturday  March 9 poll.

Also, another Chieftain of the party, Chief Dapo Filani, alleged that between N300, 000 and N500, 000 was distributed by the PDP to each polling unit across the state.

But when contacted, the South West Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Ayo Fadaka, who described the APC as a bad loser, said the party was not ready to dignify the APC with response.

He said the PDP is busy campaigning and mobilising the electorate for its victory at the Saturday Assembly election.

Other people who spoke with The Hope attributed the  prevalence of vote buying  to poverty in the land calling on government to do something about the situation.

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A business man in Akure, Mr Chris Okeke called on government to come up with innovations that will lead to job creation for the people.

According to him, skills acquisition centers where youths can learn skills that can give them means of livelihood should be established in every nook  and cranny of the country since the government cannot give all of them white collar jobs.

“I got to my polling unit early during the last elections, after accreditation and voting, I heard some voters who were complaining that what they offered them was too small. That was what drew my attention to what they were doing”, he disclosed.

He attributed the problem to poverty, adding that some of these youths still depend on their parents after graduating from the  University because of joblessness.

The experience of Mr Femi Olusola, a civil servant was not different as he said that he saw a particular party agent sharing money while some other agents were lamenting that the money they were to distribute was seized.

He condemned the act of vote buying and called on government to do something that will bring sanity to the system.

On her part, a fashion designer, Mrs Olayemi Adu who described the act as corruption called on those elected to perform their responsibilities so that they will not have any cause to share money during elections, adding that people too will not be waiting for bribes during elections.

“Our politicians should be selfless. Let them create jobs so that our graduates can be employed instead of riding Okada.

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“Another thing is that there is inflation, let government do something about it,” she advised.

   A driver, Mr Peter Olowu called on government to do something about the level of poverty in the land which he attributed to vote buying.

Olowu who said no money was shared in his polling unit said a particular party agent claimed some agents had been arrested and that he would not want to fall victim of such.

He suggested that government should ensure that polling units are created in new areas so that people can transfer their permanent voter card there in order to reduce walking a long distance before they can cast their votes.

The experience of a woman simply identified as Sade was different. “I voted in an estate, people came in their cars, cast their votes and left.

When asked if they were not offered money, she said “how much will you offer them with their financial status? People who take money take it because of poverty”.

On his own, Mr Vincent Olawale advised that contestants antecedent should be investigated before being given the opportunity to contest for any office saying that will eradicate vote buying.

Olawale who said that he heard that money was shared suggested that the masses should be educated on the reason why they should not sell their votes.

“Let the masses be educated on why they should not sell their votes. Let them know that when they sell their votes, they are mortgaging their future and that of their children”, he stressed.

APC, PDP in war of words over alleged votes buying

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APC, PDP in war of words over alleged votes buying

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