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Some political parties in Oyo State have challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to as a matter of urgency, name the political parties and politicians who have approached the commission for buying of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), in order to rig the 2019 general elections in the state.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in the state, Barrister Mutiu Agboke, DAILY POST recalls, had on Thursday told journalists that certain politicians in the state had approached the commission in order to buy PVCs.
But a chieftain of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and the party’s candidate for Ibadan North West/Ibadan South West Federal Constituency, in the 2019 general elections, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun said that his party, ADC was not interested in buying of PVCs as claimed by the REC.
Olatubosun, in a telephone conversation with DAILY POST on Thursday, added that he had raised the alarm in the past but was happy that the commission is now confirming it.
He said, “As far as ADC is concerned, we are not interested in buying of PVCs. We in ADC, we have raised the alarm on several occasions that the APC is planning to buy PVCs. They are planning to buy the PVCs in order to rig the elections. They are going round to buy PVCs from people.
“When I raised the alarm at the INEC stakeholders meeting organised with National Orientation Agency (NOA) some weeks ago at Idi-Ape in Ibadan here, the REC said he was not aware and now they are confirming it now. As far as we are concerned in ADC, we are not interested to buy PVCs. Let them ask their staff which politician is approaching them for PVCs to buy”.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. AbdulAzeez Olatunde while speaking, told DAILY POST that only desperate politicians would be interested in buying of PVCs in the state.
Olatunde in a telephone conversation with DAILY POST said, “As far as we are concerned in APC, we are the party to beat. We have the structure on ground. Some of them are jittery that the APC is performing. As you know, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC in Oyo state is performing.
“Those political parties that want to come back will be desperate to buy PVCs. A lot of them will want to buy PVCs. It is those who have spoilt this country that will be interested in buying of PVCs in the state. They will be desperate to buy PVCs in oder to come back again. As far as we are concerned, we have a structure. That allegation is for those who want to win at all costs but not we in APC”.
On his part, the gubernatorial candidate of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), in the state, Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye while speaking, challenged the commission to name the political party and the candidate that was approaching it for buying of PVCs.
Bamigboye urged the commission to expose and report the political party and the candidate to the security agencies for prosecution.
He said, “Ours is to challenge the commission to name the political party and the candidate and let the security agencies sanction them according to the law”.
Publicity Secretary of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), in the state, Barrister Olajide Olanipekun, while frowned at selling and buying of PVCs and votes, urged INEC to come out and name the political parties and politicians that have approached it.
He said, “For us in ZLP, we totally are not in support of the PVCs sale. Our own government is to ensure that we have an egalitarian society, to make the labour and the society live a meaningful life. So, why do we have to seek to buy PVCs. We oppose the sale of PVCs totally.
“And the ZLP is challenging the commission to name the political parties and the politicians. We salute the commission for coming out to say this, but we want them to expose those who have approached them for PVCs sale. We are now urging the people to go to the commission and collect their PVCs. If they have collected them, there will be no room for anyone to approach them to buy PVCs. INEC should try to name the political parties and the politicians”.
Gubernatorial candidate of National Interest Party (NIP), in the state, Mrs. Bolanle Ashabi Sarumi-Aliyu while condemning the move, however insisted that the money can be used to better the lot of the people in the state.
Sarumi-Aliyu, speaking to DAILY POST, prayed: “Dear God, when will some politicians allow you to do your will? The money they will spend to buy votes can be used to empower lives. Why can’t we have a free and fair election? Why must our elections be a do or die affair.
“God, on behalf of your people that serve you daily please shame these politicians that have always bought power, father please disgrace them and show them it is only you that gives power and come 2019 you are going to appoint your chosen ones. So that the sufferings in the land on our people be removed and washed away. So your people can smile once again with hearts filled with joy. Father God I don’t ask for much, I only ask for a true leader to govern us, a leader that his or her heart is with the masses, a compassionate leader that will promote Oyo State. Thank you God”.