People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders of buying votes in his local government.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials and security agents were complicit as, according to him, they did nothing to stop the act.
He said Ekiti people would still vote for him despite the money they collect, as they were not hungry and therefore cannot be bought with “peanuts”.
Eleka said: “It is left for the security agencies and INEC to do the needful. Let me be specific. The APC leaders are all round the various wards distributing money.
“They’re at Ogbonjana Ward, at Igelearokun Ward. At the Afin Palace, a former chairman of the local government under APC government was seen distributing money.
“Security agencies were just looking at them at those places, doing nothing. Even in Ikere here. And it’s quite unfortunate.”
On his assessment of the security situation, he said: “I can’t really comment on that because it’s too early to do so.”
On whether he has confidence in the electoral umpire, Olusola said: “INEC should do the needful. We have received reports of APC members who have been distributing money right in the presence of INEC officials and in the presence of security agencies.
“All this have been reported but unfortunately the security agencies turned a blind eye. It’s quite unfortunate that they are not doing the right thing.
“So, I want to advise that appropriate agencies should please rise up and play by the rules.”
Eleka said he had confidence in INEC despite the allegations of vote buying.
“The issue of vote buying should be addressed by INEC. If the security agencies are pretending as if they don’t see what is happening, it is quite unfortunate. Because right in their presence, APC stalwarts were seen distributing money.
“But they should remember that Ekiti people are not hungry. They are not poor. They are not people that can be easily deceived by mere peanuts that will be given to them during election time.
“Ekiti people are ready to vote for the man of their choice and that is Kola Olusola-Eleka.”
After the card reader failed to verify his PVC for a second time, Eleka had expressed fears that he might be unable to vote.
“I have confidence in the electoral process, but then I have my fears. A situation where I as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP cannot cast my vote because the card reader did not recognise my PVC is worrisome.
“They asked me whether the card was defaced. Everybody can see that this card is straight and is not bent and is not defaced (he displayed his card). Whatever might have happened, I don’t understand.
“I want to believe that the REC should be able to come up with a solution to this. I used it to vote in 2014 when I registered for the first time.
“So far so good. The process has been going on smoothly in my unit, but not so in some other units.”
Eleka eventually voted at 11.10am. He arrived at his unit by 9.10 am.