Security report accuses PDP of plotting to buy votes in general elections

Security report accuses PDP of plotting to buy votes in general elections

- A security report is alleging that the PDP has allocated the sum $3m dollars (N1.8billion) to each state chapter of the party for the purpose of buying votes during the general elections

- Security agencies claim the state chapters of the party are finding it to change the cash to naira due to surveillance on Bureau De Change operators by EFCC and the DSS

- A security source claims a former top official of INEC, a former resident electoral commissioner and a member of the national peace committee are believed to be involved in the alleged vote buying plot

Security agencies have accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of allocating the sum $3m dollars (N1.8billion) to each state chapter of the party for the purpose of buying votes during the general elections.

The agencies claimed that due to the surveillance on bureau de change operators by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS), the state chapters of the party were finding it to change the cash to naira, The Nation reports.

The newspaper, citing intelligence report from the agencies, notes that a former top official of INEC, a former resident electoral commissioner and a member of the national peace committee headed by former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, are believed to be involved in the alleged vote buying plot.

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Reports have it that intelligence sources suspect that the party has hidden under the guise of logistics to allocate about $3million (N1.8bn) per state. Based on the 36 states, about $111m (N66.6billion) is assumed to have been deployed by the leading opposition party to allegedly influence voters.

“Reports so far have showed that the main opposition party has allocated $3m(N1.8billion) to each of its state chapters under the guise of logistics for the general elections,” an intelligence source said.

“But intelligence confirmed that the cash is for vote buying with about N400,000 devoted to some polling units out of the nation’s 120,000.

“Some of the huge cash cannot be converted to Naira because of the surveillance on Bureau De Change operators by the EFCC and DSS.

“And most banks have become circumspect in view of a similar experience in 2015 in which about N23.9 poll bribery cash was shared through their branches.”

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The source, who asked not to be named, said some INEC officials are been neck deep in the alleged plot to buy votes during the general elections.

The source said: “Detectives also discovered a ‘grand compromise’ of some INEC officers, policemen and others in some states. A former INEC top officer and ex-Resident Electoral Commissioner are implicated in the plans to compromise the nation’s electoral integrity.

“These former top INEC officers were found to have played a key role in the recruitment of the ad hoc staff in some strategic states by using internal links/ surrogates in INEC to perfect their plot. Many officers in INEC, who were recruited by these former officers, are still loyal to them.

“These ex-officers had infiltrated the system and could cause any sabotage of the poll at any point, if it does not favour those who hired them. This is why it is easier for the opposition to have every detail about the movement and actions of INEC chairman and his National Commissioners.

“The intelligence report will be made available to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, especially as it relates to its field officers in some states.

“As for policemen and other security agents, the appropriate authorities are handling specific cases. And these issues will be attended to before the beginning of the poll on Saturday."

However, INEC reacting to the allegation said it was unaware of any plot by the PDP and its officials to rig the elections.

Also, the PDP has denied report about the plot to buy votes, insisting that it lacked the financial wherewithal to deploy such cash.

“We don’t have such funds anywhere, but we enjoy massive support and goodwill of a greater number of Nigerians. As an opposition party, where can we get that money,"the spokesman for the party, Kola Ologbodiyan said.

It was the same APC that mocked us a few weeks ago, saying that we were broke and that we could not fund our campaign. Now they have turned around to accuse us of spending such funds.

“Is it not strange that a ruling party is now portraying itself as the victim simply because they have been rejected by the people?

“Rather, it is the APC that has spent humongous amount on their campaign across the country and they are still spending. We have the figures and at the appropriate time we shall release them. For now, we are focused on the coming elections. So, we are very busy right now.”

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission has allowed the resumption of political campaigns ahead of the presidential and National Assembly rescheduled elections coming up on Saturday, February 23.

Channel TV reports that this was contained in a statement by INEC’s national commissioner and chairman of the commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Monday evening, February 18.

Okoye said that the decision was taken at the commission’s meeting on Monday, February 18, where it reviewed its preparations for the general elections re-scheduled for Saturday, February 23 for the presidential and National Assembly election and March 9 for governorship, state Houses of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area council elections.

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