By our correspondent
Despite heavy presence of operatives of the EFCC, the rerun election in Sokoto State has been described as a vote for cash by electorates, as they queued up in large numbers in Shagari and Yabo local government areas of the state to collect their own.
While on monitoring tour to some of the 46 pulling units where the rerun were to be held for Yabo/Shagari federal constituency, it was observed that, the massive turn out of voters was because of the monetary gains attached.
Speaking to Ibrahim Lambara in Shagari LGA at one of the Polling Units, he said, though they have their preferred candidate, but had to play along and collect money from the parties involved.
He said: “You see, we were warned not to talk to journalists, or any strange person, but I must tell you the truth, each of the political parties, especially, the APC and PDP are paying electorate to vote for their candidate.
“Electorates are being paid between N25,000 to N35,000 each depending on which party they choose to vote for. And because such opportunity always come once in blue moon, some of the voters are collecting for both parties with the promise of voting for their candidate’s which is not possible.
Confirming the position of Lambara, another voter, who stepped out of the queue said she had initially collected N35,000 and promised to vote for a particular candidate but was convinced to go and collect another N25,000 from agents of the other political party.
Though, she declined giving her name to avoid victimisation, the middle aged woman said, “the party agents stationed some known persons in a place not far from the pulling units and ask you to go and meet the person to collect the money and vote for their candidate.
‘”Some of the electorates have already been given water pumping machine, farm inputs and fertilizers days even before the election.
“‘The big shots of the two political parties involved, APC and PDP have visited our village up to three times before today. Some of them will come in the night and share money with other gifts before leaving in the morning””.
When asked if security agencies, including personnel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that doted the venue are aware of the development, she simply said, “that is none of their business”.
Recall that the Court of Appeal in its ruling had ordered a re-run election in one Federal Constituency of Yabo/Shagari Federal House of Representatives and two State Assemblies of Bodinga North and Tambuwal West respectively.