The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has defended the vote-buying practice allegedly embarked on by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties in the ongoing governorship election in Ekiti State.
Keyamo made the statement on his verified Twitter page, @fkeyamo, while reacting to reports that his political party, the APC, was involved in mass vote-buying.
He argued that vote-buying was not common with only the ruling party.
According to the minister, the reports are mere subtle messages being circulated by opposition parties just to discredit the ruling party and make it lose the election.
He wrote, “Incidences of vote-buying can’t be synonymous only with the ruling party, but the subtle message the other parties try to pass to the gullible is that only the ruling party engages in illegalities & that the only way an election can be deemed credible is if the ruling party loses.”
Whereas the ongoing Ekiti State gubernatorial election has been reported to be peaceful, there have been massive reports of vote-buying and selling and bribing of security officers mostly by the APC and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There have also been some reports of violence, harassment of election observers by security personnel and party agents and a few cases of ballot snatching.
Also, it was reported that some APC agents were arrested by the operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for alleged vote-buying.
LAGOS HERALD reported that some of the arrested party agents were paraded at the Oke Ori Omi Area Police Division.
The agents were agents reportedly caught with monies allegedly used to give voters in exchange for their votes.
It was also reported that the EFCC operatives also bursted a residence where some persons were caught with a book containing details of voters of some polling units and wards.