The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state has raised an alarm over what was described as clandestine plots being put in place by Governor Seyi Makinde and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to compromise the desired standard of free, fair and credible election expected from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of 2023 general election.
This fresh alarm from the broom party came on the heels of allegations of vote-buying plot, sponsorship of violence to prevent opposition parties from carrying out their electioneering campaigns and planned compromise of some INEC officials all in the bid to forcefully secure an ‘unmerited’ second term for Gov. Makinde.
In a statement issued on Friday and made available to press men in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, Oyo APC bemoaned Gov. Makinde’s scripted gesture of benevolence as being displayed in recent times to include Greek gifts to political leaders, religious bodies and others who he had abandoned to their fate since assumption of office in 2019.
“It is highly imperative for us to alert the public, INEC and the security agencies about certain steps being taken by the governor and some of his agents to perpetrate vote-buying and other sharp practices in their bid to compromise the forthcoming general election in the state in favor of the candidates of the PDP. The truth of the matter is that Gov. Makinde has got enough money from the treasury of the state to prosecute his mission to influence voters and other critical stakeholders before, during and after the gubernatorial election in particular.
“The sloppy manner in which Oyo PDP under Gov. Makinde carries out its campaign activities has suggested to the discerning minds that the governor and his people do not place their hope of second term in office on decent electioneering and credible electoral process. Up till now, the ruling Oyo PDP has not held a single political rally in any part of the state after more than 90 days when INEC had lifted ban on open campaigns in the build up to the 2023 general election.
“Rather than engage the electorate and give an account of stewardship in the last 42 months with a viewing to retaining the confidence of the people, Gov. Makinde has commissioned a good number of foot soldiers to negotiate for votes with dole out of crumbs and financial inducement. A good reference is the hijack of federal government’s social scheme whereby citizens are being paid varying sums of money to cushion the effects of economic meltdown. We have it on good authority that Oyo state government has taken possession of the cash distribution as they compel beneficiary to produce their individual permanent voter card which they collect and scan before releasing the cash incentives.
“Another set of foot soldiers now move round some parts of the state capital and other major cities in the state to obtain phone contact and bank account details of prospective voters who have PVC and willing to cast their votes in the forthcoming general election. Early this week, the governor sent a proxy (who is also a PDP candidate for the House of Representatives poll) to deliver some items packaged as Christmas/New Year gifts to some officials of INEC in a clear case of inducement ahead of the conduct of the 2023 poll.
“All these are in addition to baits of contract bazaar, illegal allocation of government land, SUV gift among other things being packaged to woo some identified political gladiators, traditional rulers, religious leaders, civic society organizations, trade unionists, student bodies and influential personalities who have been established to be against Gov. Makinde’s reelection bid on account of his poor first term performance. It is on this note that we urge INEC, EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau and other relevant agencies of government to beam their searchlight on Oyo state and ensure that unscrupulous elements who are bent on disrupting the 2023 poll do not have their way”. APC added.