Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, started vote buying in Nigeria, the national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole has alleged.
Mr. Oshiomhole stated this on Sunday where he featured on a Channels Television programme, Roadmap.
Vote buying, defined as a reward given to a person for voting in a particular way, is a corrupt election practice. It is a threat to the conduct of fair elections.
Although recorded in previous elections in the country, the loudest was witnessed in the recently conducted governorship election in Ekiti State with both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) participating.
“I cannot be chairman of a party and celebrate anything that tends to distort the actual wishes of the electorate,” Oshiomhole said on the Programme.
Oshiomole accused Jonathan of introducing the electoral malpractice in Nigeria.
“But your recollection of history is not complete. If you were to really trace the history of vote buying it started with Jonathan’s second attempt (second term) with all due respect to him.
“In Edo State where I participated, I was still governor at the time. They turn out not just Naira, they turn out Dollars.
“President Jonathan started this massive vote buying in Nigeria and the Media must playback and do a proper interview and proper investigation to discover the origin of vote buying,” he said.
When asked if his party participated in vote buying, the APC chairman said although he will not dismiss the allegation, he was not a party to such practice.
He expressed doubt that the candidate of the party, Kayode Fayemi, who he said was struggling to sustain his campaign had such money to throw around.
He said if there was need to point accusing fingers it should be to the incumbent State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who he alleged must have used the funds of the state to indulge in the illegal electoral act.
Accusing Fayose, Oshiomhole said: “I guess it was the guy who had access to Ekiti treasury which in this case was the PDP and the sitting governor who was so confident that he has all the resources.”
Oshiomhole said to eliminate vote buying the anti-corruption fight President Muhammadu Buhari must be supported.
“I am committed and agree absolutely with those who say we must do everything possible to eliminate vote buying.
“Going forward, the way to eliminate it is to support President Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign.
“If people of power no longer can take money freely from the treasury, I want to submit with all seriousness that those who labor to make money are not likely to buy votes,” he added.
The spokesman of the former president, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, was not reachable for comments as at the time of publication.