The two major contending parties in Osun governorship election, All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have devised new methods of voters’ inducement.
Rather than the usual money sharing around polling units, the parties have resorted to collating names for payment later.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier in the week banned the use of mobile phones around the polling booth to forestall vote buying.
However, our correspondents observed the new method in many polling units visited in Ede North Local Government Area.
At Polling Unit 2, Ward 11, party agent of APC was seen holding a note with pen which he used in writing names after electorates might have voted.
He at short intervals withdrew to a nearby secluded places to collect the names.
Some of his conversation with the electorates were recorded.
“Have you written my name?” a middle aged woman asked in one of the instances.
“Yes, we’ll see later,” the agent replied.
His name could not be ascertained at the time of filling this report. He also could not provide details of what he was writing when asked by this reporter.
The same trend was observed at Polling Unit 3, Ward 11, Polling Unit 5, Ward 11 and Polling Unit 4, same Ward 11.
In all of these polling units, APC agents had writing materials with them.
Other parties like PDP and ADP were also in the trade.
A voter familiar with the process, having written his name, said the list would be used in money collection after voting.
He said, “They (party agents) will ask you to write your names and give you money later. We don’t know how much it will be as they didn’t tell but they will surely give us money.
“You have money for yourself whichever one you pick. PDP gave us N500 in the last election. In some places it was up to N2,000.”
It was also observed that APC was sharing money at Polling Unit 005, Ward 5 Ileogbo, Ayedire Local Government Area confirmed.
Some of the recipients complained of being given N2,000 while some said they were given N500.
Two underage persons were also caught in this centre by security personnel, but they were later allowed to vote.
In Ward 05, PU 007, Ataoja E, Odofin Peter Ajibola, Osogbo LG, an SDP agent was seen distributing snacks to people on the queue though not everyone was accepting it.
Also in Ward 004 PU005 of Ayedaade LGA, vote buying was suspected by the electorates who raised alarm.
Security personnel waded in and the act was suspended.
An INEC official at the unit warned against vote buying, saying the act should not be carried out around the voting centres.
“It (votes) can, however, be bought outside the voting area,” the supervising polling officer said.