AYO Arise, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, has admitted that the party gave out money in order to induce voters in the recently held governorship election in the State.
However, Arise, who had contested for the governorship ticket of the APC but lost out to Kayode Fayemi, former Minister of Solid Minerals, blamed Governor Ayodele Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for starting the vote buying even two days before the election.
Arise said this during an interview on Channels Televisions’ Sunrise Daily, adding that the APC had to battle Fayose “weight to weight”.
“The PDP started buying votes two days before the election, they were sending money (to) every voter in Ekiti,” Arise said.
“You know he (Fayose) engaged in this photocopying of voters’ card, that we all cried out against it. Now, he sent money to all the voters, and they came to tell us that ‘these people, they have bought all the votes already’.
“And we said oh, what are we gonna do? If PDP is buying votes, and these people, they will now keep on asking you for money.
“So, as far as I am concerned, what happened in Ekiti is one of the challenges that we as Nigerians must find a solution for.
“Somebody started buying votes, you don’t expect me to sit back. If I know this guy has …[inaudible] this election, so I should now say that those people requesting that ‘okay somebody has paid me N4000’, and we now say ‘okay, oh sorry, I don’t have money, and so please go and vote for him’, will that be an election?”
Sen. Ayo Arise shamelessly admits on National TV to buying votes for the APC, a crime that should invalidate the elections he superintended over. @inecnigeria knows this to be an electoral crime. pic.twitter.com/GaEvOu78QK
— Oraye St. Franklyn (@RealOraye) July 17, 2018
Watch a more elaborate version of the interview here.
“The only thing we never engaged in was false propaganda,” Arise continued. “We knew that Fayose was going to spend money. All these rich governors came (during the PDP campaign) and they brought tons of money.
“So we knew that if we sat back, how do we explain to Ekiti people that the incumbent bought us out of the election?”
The ICIR was in Ekiti State before the governorship election, and had reported how PDP, through its ward officials distributed between N3000 and N5000 to voters, a day before the election.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non -governmental organisation has given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a 14-day ultimatum to investigate allegations of vote buying by both the APC and the PDP in Ekiti State.