Supporters of the All Progressives Congress were seen distributing money at the polling unit where the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, voted in Benin City, the state capital.
PREMIUM TIMES observed at the polling unit that members of the APC were compiling a list of voters and giving out about N10,000 to each voter, to vote for the party’s candidate, Godwin Obaseki.
At some point the sharing of money almost turned violent.
When confronted on the development after casting his vote, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun expressed shock wondering how it was possible to share money at a polling unit where voting was taking place.
“When I look at a place like this I don’t know how you can give someone money,” he said.
“How do you know somebody has voted, given how secret it truly is? Nobody will know how you’ve thumb-printed.”
He asked jokingly, “Please, is there somebody sharing money let me go to him and take my own?”
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, a former governor of the state, however, expressed joy over the huge turnout of voters for the election, saying it was the best he ever experienced in the history of elections in the state.
“I am very pleasantly surprised because this is the best turnout; I’ve always voted here, this is the best turnout I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
“It presumes that something good is about to happen, that people are keen to express their democratic options.
“It’s peaceful so far, I’ve been watching on TV.”
On the security arrangement for the election, the APC chairman described it as “lovely.”
“Well, I’m national chairman of the party and it was something that was of grave concern for us all the time. All the security agencies have given us iron clad assurance that there will be no incident, at least, no major incident.”
Also speaking, the senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Matthew Urhoghide, decried the allegation of vote-buying by the APC and demanded that it be nipped in the bud.
“There is criticisms for some of the things going on, particularly the horse trading and the haggling, the touting that is going on,” he told PREMIUM TIMES after voting at PU 004, George Idah Model Primary School in Benin.
“It’s very obvious in this Unit 4 and, of course, I think this is obscene. The APC is doing it with a whole lot of impudence.”