By Mumini Abdulkareem and Kayode Adeoti
The leadership of the two major opposition parties; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Kwara State, have reacted to reports of the aircraft loaded with money allegedly meant to finance the election of the APC candidates in the state.
Speaking with our reporter on the telephone, last night, the Chairman of the PDP in Kwara State, Engr Kola Shittu, accused the ruling party of double standard saying such development is against the electoral act and not healthy for our democracy.
He said, “There was no need for such. This is very glaring that it is one of those reasons that the election was compromised in Kwara State.”
Speaking further, Shittu said, “We expect the security agents to investigate it. This is one of the problems we are facing; the power of incumbency. They should investigate it and take appropriate action but it is unfortunate that we are not seeing anything like that rather they will be covering it. It is that bad.”
Speaking on the forthcoming governorship election, the PDP chairman said, “We believe this time, the result will change and the true result will be reflected. We are working hard that it should be so. For us, campaign is still on and some people are using door-to-door campaign, enough of this jamboree and we believe it is going to be effective and the electorate will feel better considering the caliber of our gubernatorial candidate compared to the opposition, Atunwa is better and will be more efficient and productive for Kwara State. This is what is going to determine who wins the election? We are very optimistic,” he submitted.
Reacting, the former chairman, Kwara State Scholarship Board, Isiaka Mogaji, said, “It is no longer news that the plane that came brought money for the last presidential and national assembly elections. We gathered that about 9 different ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags were loaded with money and that some security men came to clear the place and the people that were there so that they will not be privy to what was happening. It was thereafter quickly transferred to different cars.
“You can see the APC people on the day of election, the way they were buying votes with heavy money to ensure their candidates actually emerged. They actually negate the principle that none of the political parties should engage in vote buying. This was the concept behind the vice president’s trader moni initiative in Kwara which was meant to buy votes across board. But for the coming election, Kwarans will not fold their hands and hand over the state to just anybody. God has given us our own leader here and we will not be going to Lagos to take orders from anybody.”
Meanwhile, the Kwara State APC denied the allegation of taking delivery of fund from the presidency or any quarters on the eve of the botched Presidential and National Assembly polls.
Speaking on the issue in a telephone chat with this medium, yesterday, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Tajudeen Aro denied the report saying it was not true.
According to him, the election process was free and fair stressing that people voted based on their personal conviction.
He said, “That’s not true, though I was not at the airport. There was no special money for buying votes in APC, we don’t buy votes at all in our party. If such action existed during the voting period, some people would have raised the alarm against it.
“The victory our party recorded in the poll was due to the love of the electorate for our party. People voted based on conviction. The President said he’s not going to spend public money and he kept to his promise. In fact, this is the first time in Nigeria that an election will be devoid of money.”