Ahead of the Osun 2022 governorship election on the 16th of July, major political parties contesting the election have been revealed to have adopted new method to solicit votes from the electorate.
Vote-buying has always been a common feature during election in Nigeria in recent times, one which has been made obvious in State elections in Ondo State, Edo State and Ekiti State.
Although Political Parties have come out to publicly condemn the unwholesome attempt to acquire votes during elections, the pattern has continued to mar the beauty of the nation’s electoral system.
According to The PUNCH, the APC and PDP in Osun have concluded plans to pay between N2,000 and N10,000 per vote. It was also learnt that the parties had since Tuesday distributed the money to the wards and polling units to avoid being stopped by security agencies.
The PDP, it was learnt, planned to give N2,000 to any willing voter in neutral and friendly areas while the amount to be shared to each voter in hostile and very competitive areas could be as much as N5,000.
The “friendly” areas for the PDP are Ede North, Ede South, Oriade, Obokun, Boluwaduro and Orolu Local Government Areas.
A party stalwart and mobiliser for the PDP in the state, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the party had no choice but to make such provisions so it wouldn’t be outplayed by the APC. “You know the APC is in power at the centre and in the state and the party has more governors than the PDP, so they naturally would have more funds from donations. So, we can’t go to bed as if they won’t induce voters,” the source said.
Another source in Osogbo, the state capital, told one of our correspondents, “We have mobilised since early in the week so the security agencies, who may be loyal to the APC, don’t humiliate us.”
Similarly, the APC, it was learnt, may spend up to N10,000 per vote and had voted about N2m per polling unit. A chieftain of the party, who didn’t want his name mentioned, said the election would be keenly contested and that it would be insulting for the party to lose the election.
The source added, “Osun is a state we cannot lose, so we have to do what is necessary. It will be an embarrassment if we lose the election. APC is Osun and Osun is APC. So, we have made provision for voters to be rewarded for voting for us.”
When reminded that the security agencies and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission were on the lookout for such illegal transactions, he said, “We took care of that already, since early in the week.”
On how the money would be disbursed, findings by correspondents revealed that in a bid to avoid the prying eyes of security and anti-graft agents, those in charge of disbursing the funds are expected to stay in nearby residential buildings. However, other foot soldiers, who would pose as normal voters, would be around the polling units, especially the voting cubicle, to identify those who vote for their respective parties. The foot soldiers would then give signal to one another and would notify the paymaster for the voter to be paid.
Apart from the two major parties, Accord Party and Labour Party, both of which are top contenders, are also said to be planning to ‘reward’ voters, though with lesser amount.
Some reliable party sources, who confirmed that money had been shared to the units, however said the funds distributed to the units were meant for logistics.