The Ekiti State Governor-elect, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has claimed that the All Progressives Congress did not engage in vote buying during the June 18, 2022 governorship election which held in the state.
Oyebanji made the claim on Monday while briefing State House correspondents after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by some party big-wigs led by the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, following his victory in the Saturday poll.
He said that as far as he was concerned, his party did not buy votes, while adding that he did
not witness the development in the polling unit where he voted in Ikogosi, Ekiti West LGA.
The governor-elect said he won the election based on the performance of the outgoing
administration in which he played a prominent role.
In a bid to ascertain the veracity of the claim, Daily Trust looked at several reports by independent and non-partisan Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media who observed the election.
While some of the reports revealed in details the parties involved in voter inducement along with their locations and amounts involved, some others generally agreed to the fact that there was vote-buying across party lines.
According to the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) who was on the ground to observe the election, its observers documented 41 instances of vote buying and selling at polling units in LGAs like Ado-Ekiti, Ijero, Ikole Irepodun/Ifelodun, Ise/Orun and Moba.
The statement noted that one of the observable patterns of vote buying was the collection of cash in brown envelopes, which was apparently meant to disguise the content of the envelopes in order to avoid arrest by the anti-corruption agencies.
Also, in a post-election statement issued by another independent observer group, Yiaga Africa, vote buying was reported by its observers in Alowodolu/Ojo – The Apostolic P.S Compound with PU code 13/09/04/00 in Ijero Ward D of Ijero LGA.
“Party agents from APC were reportedly sharing N7,000 to voters who showed how their ballot paper was marked. A similar report on vote-buying by APC was received from Open Space At Bamitale Along St. Mary’s Road in Ikere.
“Also, in Ogidi – in Ipoti Ward A, party agents from PDP and SDP were seen bribing voters. At C. A. C. Gramm. Sch. / Ola Oluwa II with PU code 014 in Ado-Ekiti, APC party agent was also reportedly giving N5,000 to voters who confirmed they had voted for the party,” it stated.
Based on evidence contained in reports groups that observed the governorship election, it is not true that the APC didn’t engage in vote buying as claimed by Oyebanji.