Ongoing bye-election to fill the vacant seat for Kogi/Koto-Karfe Federal Constituency has been characterized by the buying of votes from the electorate.
DAILY POST correspondent, who visited some polling units in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, observed that some political parties induce voters with money ranging from N3,000, N5000, N10,000, to win their votes.
Voters, who could not get physical cash, were given food items such as onions, tomato paste all packed inside a small bag crested with the insignia of the party they were expected to vote for during the exercise.
There was however massive turnout of voters and huge deployment of security operatives for a hitch-free exercise.
Polling units such as Lokoja Local Government secretariat, Bishop Crowther School, Lokoja Ward C, Yaraji open space, Felele primary school, and Inuwa Ndagaza, all had their fair share of vote buying.
At Inuwa Ndagaza polling unit, which happens to be the polling unit of the immediate former Speaker, who is contesting under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alfa Umar Ahmed, a senatorial aspirant for Kogi West under the ruling party was allegedly spotted at the polling unit alongside some security operatives in an hilux van wooing people to vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
It was however said that the aspirant was chased out of the polling unit when it was discovered that he was distributing money to some electorate to vote for the ruling party in the state.
Meanwhile, Ahmed, while condemning alleged vote buying in his polling unit, told DAILY POST that he can’t be intimidated by the antics of the ruling party to frustrate his victory at the polls.
According to him, “The APC government is leaving no stone unturned to see me lose my polling unit and even the election. But this will not work. They have the money but I have the almighty Allah by my side.”
A source in the APC camp however told our correspondent that the allegation that they sponsored an aspirant to buy votes in the former Speaker’s polling unit is false, stressing that APC’s structure in the state would give them victory at the polls.