Governor-elect of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, yesterday, said that he did not witness any vote buying in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
This came as President Muhammadu Buhari received the Ekiti State Governor-elect at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Meantime, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has said that the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, participated in the senatorial primary election for Yobe North Senatorial District.
There have been allegations that the Ekiti State governorship election was marred by massive vote buying with the ruling APC fingered at the centre, alongside some other parties that participated in the exercise.
Speaking with State House correspondents after being presented to President Buhari, Oyebanji said he won the poll based on the performance of the outgoing administration in the state, in which he played a prominent role.
The former Secretary to Ekiti State Government, SSG, said he canvassed for votes using the record of performance of the administration and what he had to offer the people going forward.
On the allegation that there was massive vote buying in the election and that he was a beneficiary of the vote buying, Oyebanji simply retorted: “Well, where I voted, I did not witness anything like that. But people are entitled to their opinion but not to their facts.”
I canvassed for votes —Oyebanji
He said: “Well, I will speak for myself. I canvassed for votes. I had a manifesto that I unveiled to Ekiti people and I canvassed based on that manifesto.
“I’m a part of a government that has done so well. Last time I was here, I said that if performance will be an indicator for electoral success, that we have nothing to fear. So, as far as we are concerned in APC we did not involve in vote buying, but we have done so well and we have a manifesto that pleases our people.”
Speaking when he received the governor-elect led by the APC Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Governors Kayode Fayemi, Atiku Bagudu, and Abubakar Badaru of Kebbi, and Jigawa States, respectively, President Buhari said he keenly followed the polls held on Saturday, June 18, and was delighted with the orderly conduct, and the way the electorate and security agencies comported themselves.
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina was quoted as saying, “I loved how the APC Governors mobilized, and supported you,” the President told Oyebanji. “I think the party is very lucky, and things are getting better. I congratulate the Chairman, and I pray you sustain it.”
Badaru hails Buhari
Chairman of the Campaign Council for Ekiti poll, Badaru congratulated Buhari on the successful outing, saying; “Your unending effort to reposition the party is paying off. If we combine the votes of the candidates that came second and third, our candidate still beat them by a wide margin. APC is being daily endeared to Nigerians. Our gratitude goes to you, Mr President.”
Adamu speaks on vote buying
While appreciating the President, he said the election was a referendum on the party, “and a clear, positive signal to the election in Osun, and the National one next year. APC is still the party of choice.”
Also speaking, Adamu, affirmed that the allegation of vote-buying was raised by elements who were losing at the poll.
While responding to a question, he said, “I just want to add a word or two to the response of our Governor-elect on the issue of vote buying. As a patriotic Nigerian, I want to only appeal to the media, please don’t partake in portraying negative attitudes in our processes. If you do so, you are compromising I’m sorry to say so. You’re compromising the integrity of our process as a country.
“I’m only appealing to you as a fellow Nigerian and somebody who has been in this your trade before today. Please let us help build this country positively.”
On speculation that the party may face crisis if it tries to substitute the name of the vice presidential candidate submitted to the INEC, the APC Chairman said there was no cause for alarm.
On his visit to the State House, he said, “We are here essentially, to present His Excellency the President Muhammadu Buhari, the newest member of the governors family, the governor elect, of Ekiti State, whose election you all witness just last Saturday some 48 hours ago. We brought him to meet Mr. President and we do so with gratitude to the Almighty God for making victory our lot.”
Lawan participates in primary
Meanwhile, Adamu said that the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan participated in the senatorial primaries to go back to the senate.
He said: “Go and find out from the person who is responsible for organising the primary. I have done my beat. I do know in my honour that he did participate within the timeline.”