The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of intensifying vote buying in Edo State, barely three days to the September 19 gubernatorial election in the state.
State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Chris Osa Nehikhare, who spoke on behalf of the state PDP Campaign Council on Wednesday, said: “Our attention has been drawn to a video that has been trending all day on various social media platforms, in which members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were seen distributing wrappers and money to Edo women, in exchange for their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).”
Nehikhare added: “We are concerned that after commitments to a free, fair and credible poll, by various stakeholders in the electioneering process, the APC could still embark on schemes aimed at derailing the process through vote buying.
“On Tuesday, we alerted the public to a similar vote buying scheme by the APC with an emergency Federal Government empowerment programme, aimed at obtaining Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from voters, ahead of the poll.
“We noted that the scheme was contrived and packaged to be a pet project of the wife of the candidate of the APC, Prof. Idia Ize-Iyamu, implemented through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
“We wish to state that any such scheme aimed at sharing money to voters in Edo State at this time, amounts to vote buying and we call on the international community to impose sanctions on officials of government that are behind these schemes designed to induce Edo voters, contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.”
Labour unions in Edo including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) have reaffirmed support for the second term bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), promising to mobilise thousands of members across the state to ensure the governor’s reelection.
The workers who spoke to journalists at a rally in Benin City, hailed the governor’s developmental strides across the state, noting that Obaseki’s sterling performance will earn him victory at the poll come Saturday, September 19, 2020.
Chairman of NLC in Edo State, Emmanuel Ademokun, commended Obaseki for prioritising the welfare and wellbeing of workers in the state, specifically the prompt payment of salaries and pension.
Ademokun said: “We did not come here to campaign today but to let everybody know that the governor doesn’t joke with payment of pension and salaries. What do we want again? You don’t change a working governor, but rather you reelect him.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress under my watch never had issues with the governor; those with him are more than those that are against him.”
On his part, Chairman of TUC, Mr. Marshal Orhue, noted: “For four years in Edo State, workers have been promptly paid their salaries; for four years in the state there have been no strike actions. What else could we have asked of this man? On behalf of the TUC, I reassure the governor that we are strongly behind him.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of NULGE, Mr. Lazarus Adorolo, commended Governor Obaseki for redefining governance in Edo and repositioning the state on the path of progress.
“Before now, local government revenue was nothing to write home about but today we can collect our revenue without any issue,” he added.
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