Ondo residents exchange votes for cash in security operatives’ full glare

Observers who monitored elections in different polling units across the 18 local government areas of Ondo State on Saturday have noted incidents of vote buying.

Election observers from the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and TheCable journalists said suspected agents of different political parties employed various underhand means to induce voters with cash.

They also noted that party agents scattered across various polling units distributed cash to influence votes for their candidates.

In some instances, the party agents shared the money in public, while in other instances, voters were redirected to a nearby building — usually a few metres away from the polling unit — to receive money.

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At ward 03, polling unit 07, Kotajo/Olope, Ondo East LGA, at least six security operatives were present but they simply looked away while a party agent shared cash to voters on a queue.

At ward 03, polling unit 016, Igboroko II, Ahmadiya Primary School, Owo LGA, after participating in the election, voters were directed to a classroom within the neighbourhood to receive money.

In Odigbo LGA, a party agent in the company with some other persons shared N2,000 to each person who voted for their candidate at ward 03, polling unit 9.

At ward 2, polling unit 8 at Ugbo in Ilaje LGA, a party agent was seen distributing cash in the full glare of the public.

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It was a similar incident at ward 3, polling unit 2 at Mahin in Ilaje LGA, as voters queued to write their names, while a party agent promised that they would be paid after the exercise.

But events took a different turn at ward 6, polling unit 6 in Idanre LGA, as a fight broke out when voters challenged the party agent who was sharing N5,000 to each person on the queue.

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