Vote buying by agents of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the order of the day in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council elections held on Saturday, February 12, 2022.
The election was held under tight security, with restriction of movement in and out of the capital city by combined operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and officers of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Our correspondent who monitored the elections in most of the polling units, reports that members of the two political parties handed money to voters as a way of inducing them to vote for their candidates.
You may also like: Atiku: There’s nothing like zoning in the constitution, all of us can run for President
However, the exercise proceeded smoothly in most parts of the FCT with a massive turnout of voters.
Our correspondent also observed that there was a large turnout of voters in most polling units in the Nyanya axis of the FCT.
At the polling unit in front of Assemblies of God Church, Area C, Nyanya, representatives of the parties were giving N1,000 and N2,000 to voters.
One Austine said he collected the N2,000 even though this did not influence his choice of candidate.
“I’m happy with the smooth conduct of the election. It is a good thing that we have another opportunity of voting for people that will lead us at the third tier of governance and as you can see, the turnout here is high.
“I was given N2,000 before voting. You know these people after suffering for them and they win the election, you won’t hear from them again. The money did not influence me; I voted for the candidate of my choice,” he said.
In most polling units in Lugbe, along Airport Road, there was delayed accreditation of voters following the late arrival of INEC officials and election materials.
Even with the late arrival of INEC officials, Silas Audu told our correspondent that he was given N1,500 to vote.
“I collected the money and voted for who they wanted. I had to collect the money because you will never see them after the election. It’s our money, so I collected it,” he said.
At the Lugbe Federal Housing Estate, Gosa, Trade Moore and Galadimawa, our correspondent reports that the accreditation, which was supposed to start by 8.30. a.m., did not commence until 10.15 a.m.
Meanwhile, security operatives were on ground in most polling units visited, with no visible presence of voters.
At Galadimawa Primary School polling unit, a handful of voters and security operatives were waiting for the arrival of INEC officials.
The election also witnessed massive turnout of voters in Bwari.
Most voting centres in Bwari were filled with voters trying to vote for candidates of their choice.
Mr Azu John, a resident, told our correspondent that he was given N2,000 to vote for one candidate, but collected the money and refused to do as promised.
“I am excited that the D-day is finally here and the opportunity to vote for my candidate.
”We are out as you can see, we are waiting for the officials to start the process so we can vote and leave everything in God’s hand,” he said.
Another resident, Miss Martha Aboyi, said she came out quite early so that she can be attended to early, saying that she believed that her candidate would win.
A commercial motorcyclist, Mr Ali Musbau, said the N1,000 given to him cannot change his mind.
In a particular polling unit in Gwarinpa, our correspondent was also offered N1,500 to vote for a particular party.
Meanwhile, all expressways into the FCT were barricaded by security operatives in compliance with the order on restriction of movement during the election period.
At the Mararaba/Nyanya boundary checkpoint, the police literally used their patrol vehicles to block the road, even though those on essential duties were allowed under the watchful gaze of stern-looking security personnel.