Alleged Vote Buying: PDP, APC Trade Blames After Ekiti Polls
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have traded accusations about the reported buying of votes during the Ekiti State governorship election.
Both parties continued their war of words over the election on Tuesday, when Senator Ayo Arise (APC) and PDP’s National Publicty Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, appeared on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily.
Mr Ologbondiyan accused the PDP of engaging in fraud and inducement of voters during the election, a move he claimed left his party no choice other than to reject the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
INEC had declared Kayode Fayemi of the APC winner of the keenly contested election on Sunday.
“The governors of other states, particularly the neighbouring states came to Ado-Ekiti and came to Ekiti State generally and got agents to be doing buying and selling of votes,” Mr Ologbondiyan alleged. “That is totally condemnable.”
According to the PDP National Publicity Secretary, his party was robbed of its mandate.
He said, “What happened in Ekiti was an open-day robbery. And that is why our party has in its entirety rejected the process and outcome. What happened was a complete fraud.”
But APC member, Senator Ayo Arise, dismissed the allegation of vote buying, stressing that his party did not engage in “blatant vote buying”.
Arise rather accused the opposition PDP of enticing Ekiti electorates with cash to vote.
“The PDP started buying votes two days before the election, they were sending money. They sent money to all the voters,” he said.
“They came to tell us that these people (PDP agents) have bought all the votes already. We now said, if PDP is buying votes, these people will now be asking you for money.”
Arise called for efforts to check and end vote buying in the country ahead of future elections in the country.
He added, “As far as I am concerned, what happened in Ekiti is one of the challenges that we as Nigerians must find a solution for because somebody started buying votes and you do not expect me to sit back.”
On the issue of card readers, the PDP’s spokesman alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) plotted to rig the election in favour of APC’s candidate, Mr Kayode Fayemi, through the enhancement of card readers.
He added, “The information available to the Peoples Democratic Party upon which we made that demand was that INEC was already plotting a rigging scheme for the APC.
“They made the enhanced card readers available in their own stronghold and brought the unenhanced cared readers to the stronghold of the PDP and we raised questions, they never responded to us.”