Concerned residents of Lagos East Senatorial District have alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has perfected plan to buy a vote with N5, 000 in the senatorial bye-election scheduled to hold tomorrow.
The residents, thus, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria Police and other security agencies to be at alert, warning that they would resist any plot to undermine the process.
But the PDP, in a reaction debunked the accusation, saying it is laughable.
In separate statements on Thursday, the residents alleged that their findings showed that the PDP and its senatorial candidate for Lagos East bye-election, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi had set machinery in motion to spend huge amount of money to buy votes and cause confusion.
Specifically, Mr.Jimoh Hamzat alleged that he was aware of the PDP’s plan to buy a vote with N5, 000 to win the bye-election at all costs, which according to him, would be resisted and frustrated.
Hamzat, an Ikorodu resident, warned against any attempt by the main opposition party “to buy votes on the day of the bye-election. We are waiting for them. We will resist any plot to manipulate the outcome of the bye-election.”
He, therefore, asked the Nigeria Police to investigate allegation that the PDP was allegedly planning to pay each eligible voter N5, 000 to gain advantage in the Lagos East bye-election already rescheduled for Saturday.
Protesting PDP’s alleged vote-buying plot, a youth leader in Bariga, Mr. Basheer Martins acknowledged that it “has come to our notice that the leaders of the PDP are planning on vote buying.
“It’s extremely annoying to think that there are individuals out there wanting to take advantage of the people by trying to infringe on their voting rights and the voting process. I think this is completely appalling and relatively unacceptable.
“This is not the first time such allegation is taking the centre stage towards electioneering period. I strongly urge the INEC and security apparatus to be on the look and protect the votes of the people. We all know whom the masses are yearning for.”
In his own statement, an Epe resident, Mr. Olatunde Giwa alleged that most agents of the PDP had been harassing peace-loving people, which he argued, could lead to violence and hijacking of ballot boxes on the day of the bye-election.
Giwa, also, alleged that the PDP agents “have been wooing unsuspecting voters, even going as far as collecting their permanent voters cards (PVCs) with a promise to give each of them N5, 000.
“The INEC should take necessary measures to frustrate their plot. The security operatives should be at alert to protect the decision of the people. On our part, we are ready to resist all agents of electoral malpractices. We are peaceful people, but will not allow anti-democratic forces to steal the mandate of the people,” he said.
Disturbed by the plot, Olawunmi Oguntade asked the security agencies, especially the Department of State Services (DSS) to look into allegations and come up with measures to avert any plot for vote-buying during the process.
According to her, the public conduct of the PDP agents suggests that they have some hidden plans. But the people of Lagos East will monitor their votes and resist those who have been paid to buy votes or disrupt the process.
However, PDP’s spokesman in Lagos, Taofiq Gani described as laughable and unbelievable the allegation, saying it was being peddled by the APC
The PDP further described the APC outburst as a clear case of a defeatist, paranoia and hopeless contestant whose shame at the poll is imminent.
According to the PDP, all votes will be voluntarily given to PDP to reflect the disenchantment with the APC candidates who have displayed highest level of desperations to contest in areas they did not qualify to so contest.
“On the contrary we have it on good authority that the APC candidates have sought more funds from the governor to buy votes to win the Saturday bye-elections but such request rebuffed by the governor for fear of the EFCC.”