By Emmanuel Oladesu
Through its local chapter in Lagos, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday raised the alarm over plots to disrupt the by-elections holding Saturday in Lagos East Senatorial District and Kosofe Constituency II.
The party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Seye Oladejo, alleged that hoodlums were being mobilised by unscrupulous elements to disrupt the exercise.
In a statement, Oladejo said miscreants were being mobilised and financially induced to cause mayhem on poll day to scare away legitimate voters. He urged security agents to be vigilant and forestall the plot.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to certain developments that are capable of disrupting the by-elections for Lagos East Senatorial district and the Lagos State House of Assembly for Kosofe 2 slated for this Saturday (tomorrow).
“The members of APC in the areas where the elections will be conducted have observed the unusual mobilisation of hoodlums and miscreants from within and outside the state to disrupt the electoral process in polling areas where the PDP will likely return poor results.
“Similarly, arrangements have been concluded to buy votes which negate the provision of the electoral laws.
“Our intelligence revealed the conclusion to pay the sum of N5, 000 per vote to undermine the process. Therefore, we are calling on the security agents to be vigilant to arrest any situation that is capable of disrupting the electoral process and INEC to remain impartial and deliver on their responsibility to the nation.
“Our members and supporters are hereby enjoined to protect their votes in the best interest of our nascent democracy.”
Also, residents of Lagos East alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has perfected plan to buy a vote with N5, 000 in the senatorial by-election.
They urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Police and other security agencies to be at alert, warning that they would resist any plot to undermine the process.
In separate statements yesterday, the residents alleged that the PDP had set machinery in motion to spend huge amount of money to buy votes and cause confusion.
A resident, Mansur Akoni, alleged that PDP was planning to buy a vote with N5, 000, adding that the move would be resisted
Akoni, who resides in Ikorodu, warned against any attempt by the main opposition party “to buy votes on the day of the bye-election. We are waiting for them. We will resist any plot to manipulate the outcome of the bye-election.”
He, therefore, asked the police to investigate allegation that the PDP was allegedly planning to pay each eligible voter N5, 000 to gain advantage in the Lagos East bye-election already rescheduled for tomorrow.
An Epe resident, Mr. Olatunde Giwa, alleged that most agents of the PDP had been harassing peace-loving people, which he argued, could lead to violence and hijacking of ballot boxes on the poll day.
Giwa also, alleged that the PDP agents “have been wooing unsuspecting voters, even going as far as collecting their permanent voters cards (PVCs) with a promise to give each of them N5, 000.”
He added: “INEC should take necessary measures to frustrate their plot. The security operatives should be at alert to protect the decision of the people. On our part, we are ready to resist all agents of electoral malpractices. We are peaceful people, but will not allow anti-democratic forces to steal the mandate of the people.”