By Sunday Ani, Lagos
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has condemned the level of vote-buying that characterized the gubernatorial election in Ekiti yesterday.
Adebayo, whose party, the SDP, had as its candidate in the election, a former governor of the state, Chief Segun Oni, said it was a sad day for Nigeria and democracy as voters openly sold their conscience for pecuniary gains.
He absolved the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from what he termed a ‘show of shame’ exhibited by voters during the process but insisted that the law enforcement agents and the political parties were complicit in the mess. “The BVAS worked quite well. Of course, there are hitches here and there but that is expected of technology. Maybe less than one percent of the BVAS equipment had problems because INEC officials were not in any malpractice as they didn’t forge any results; whatever the people voted was what INEC recorded. You can’t blame INEC if somebody collected money to vote; it’s not the INEC’s job to go into the hearts of the people. The locust of the crime has shifted from the electoral body to the law enforcement agents and political parties. There is no victim here because the voters voluntarily sold their votes. The victim is actually a democracy,” he said.