The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Abdulahi Adamu, has dismissed the allegation of vote-buying leveled against the party during the Saturday’s Gubernatorial election in Ekiti.
APC’s candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, polled 187, 057 votes to win the election.
Adamu, who addressed State House correspondents after he officially presented the Governor-elect (Oyebanji) to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday in Abuja, said the allegation of vote buying was raised by elements who lost the election.
The party chairman called on the media to always avoid being used by aggrieved politicians who were bent on destroying the image of the country for political gains.
He said: “As a patriotic Nigerian that is privileged to lead the ruling party in this country today, I want to only appeal to the media.
“Please, don’t partake in portraying negative attitudes in our processes. If you do so, you are compromising. I’m sorry to say so. You’re compromising the integrity of our process as a country.
“I would have preferred if the person who asked that question saying, “Look, in America, this is what they do in a democracy in respect to the subject matter. In the United Kingdom or France this is what they do. This is what you are doing differently.’
“And please let us not be too much in the space of speculation.
“I have noticed that over the last maybe four or five general elections in this country, this issue of vote buying has taken a center stage. One can only evidence what he saw what he did and I’m sure his Excellency the governor-elect, responded in very good faith.
“Some of you, asking this particular question did not go Ekiti. You were not there.
“Somebody who is losing the election flied a kite. ‘Oh no, they are buying votes and all the kind of money they have we don’t have, that’s why I’m losing,’ and you are helping to market that opinion.
“I’m only appealing to you as a fellow Nigerian and somebody who has been in this your trade before today. Please, let us help build this country positively.”
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On the perceived dangers of APC “space holder” for the presidential running mate of the ruling party not relinquishing the post, he said there was nothing to be worried about.
Adamu said: “Thank you very much. We are not in the speculative world. We are governed by the laws of the land.
“There’s nothing our presidential candidate has done with regards to returning his forms that is not within the confines of the law of the land.
“Everything we’ve done so far we have done very carefully with legal consultation and we are cocksure, we’re not going to have the kind of speculation that you are professing at this point in time.
“We’re very comfortable with what we have done. It is still pessimism. However, we are not in that school of thought yet. We don’t have to be there”, he said.
Also responding to the question of alleged vote buying, the winner of last Saturday’s Ekiti State governorship election, Oyebanji, said neither himself, nor the ruling APC was involved in the alleged vote buying during the polls.
Oyebanji said his victory was as a result of the works done by the APC-led administration in the state, coupled with the fact that he campaigned effectively and presented a reasonable manifesto to the people of the state.
“You said that it was an allegation. Well, where I voted, I did not witness anything like that, but people are entitled to their opinion, but not to their facts.
“I will speak for myself. I canvassed for votes, I had a manifesto that I unveiled to Ekiti people and I canvassed based on that manifesto.
“I’m part of a government that has done so well. The last time I was here, I said that if performance will be an indicator for electoral success that we have nothing to fear.
“So, as far as we are concerned in APC we did not involve in vote buying, but we’ve done so well and we have a manifesto that pleases our people,” he said.
The governor-elect was led to the Villa by a team of party leaders, including Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu.
Others were governor of Jigawa, Mohammed Badaru; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who was also governor of Ekiti State, between 1999 and 2003.
The Women Situation Room, which also monitored the poll has said that the exercise was characterized by massive vote-buying.
Some agents of political parties were also caught during the exercise with cash by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the same allegations.