The flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election of September 22 in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has decried the menace of vote buying during elections, as he played host to British envoy in Ede, his ancestral home.
Adeleke, while receiving the Political Adviser of the British High Commission, Lagos, Mr Wale Adebajo, said he was ready to support the plan by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disallow the usage of phones at polling booths, with a view to preventing acts of vote buying and other electoral malpractices.
He commended the commission for what he termed pragmatic and dynamic process of operation that is aimed at improving on the credibility of the electoral process.
“To me, INEC knows what they are doing and whatever will prevent vote buying, we should give them chance to do it. They plan and improve everyday ahead of the election. Before, they introduced card readers, there were a lot of rigging, but now card readers have reduced rigging.
“No election is perfect, even the ones conducted in the United States, they are still striving to improve and I believe our own would not be different. Whatever INEC want to do to prevent rigging, to prevent people from snapping their ballots papers to show people who paid them for votes should be supported. It is a welcome development and we should give them chance to do their job,” he said.
Commenting on the British envoys’ visit, Adeleke said, “they came to have an audience with me. They discussed with me about the election that is coming up in September 22.
“They came to offer assistance in terms of monitoring the election and supporting Nigeria democracy. They asked a lot of questions on how are we sure the election is going to be free and fair. We believe the election is going to be free and fair. They are part of the process to make the election free and fair. We appreciate them for coming.
On the speculation that some desperate politicians were planning to abduct chieftains of the PDP before the poll, he said “though it is still a rumour, but we must take it seriously.
“We heard that they were planning to kidnap some PDP elders before the election, I believe the security agencies know their jobs and we can’t tell them how to do their job. We have passed the information to them and they know what to do”.
Meanwhile, the British envoys refused to speak to journalists as all efforts made by newsmen to find out the reason behind their visit practically proved abortive.