Ogun Guber Poll: PDP Chieftain Confirms Vote-Buying, Calls It ‘Empowerment’

° Says N10,000 credit cards in the name of Ladi Adebutu’s mother a philanthropic gesture

The Ogun State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Sunday Solarin, has confirmed that the party’s governorship candidate, Ladi Adebutu, owned the distributed pre-loaded credit cards allegedly used to induce voters during the March 18 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.

Solarin, who made this confirmation on a live interview on a private television station, Silverbird Television, disclosed that the credits cards with inscription ‘Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endowment Scheme’ and loaded with N10,000 each were meant to empower the people of the state (on election day).

Security agents, including police and the operatives of National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), had at different locations intercepted and seized hundreds of the pre-loaded cash cards from PDP agents along with hundreds of permanent voters cards (PVCs) on election day.

The cards brazenly distributed across the polling booths in the 236 wards of the state were allegedly used to entice voters to vote for the PDP.

The election later went in favour of the incumbent governor, Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as he was declared victorious by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The INEC State Returning Officer, Kayode Adebowale, who announced the result, said the APC candidate scored 276,298 votes to emerge the winner of the keenly contested election.

The PDP candidate, Adebutu, polled 262,383 votes to come second, thus trailing the winner with 13,915 votes, while Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) polled 94,754 votes to come third.

However, Adebutu and his supporters cried foul, claiming the gubernatorial election was “won” by him.

On the other hand, the APC accused Adebutu of engaging in massive vote-buying, using credit cards designed in his late mother’s name.

Speaking during the television interview which also featured the State APC Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, Solarin argued that the credit cards were not meant for vote-buying but empowerment of the people.

He stated that the Adebutu’s family is known for its philanthropic gestures, stressing the credit cards were given to the people as a form of financial empowerment in memory of late Mrs. Adebutu.

Solarin, however, said he was not aware that party agents were arrested with the cards on the election day, insisting that the INEC erred by declaring Governor Abiodun the winner.

He boasted that the “stolen mandate” would be reclaimed by Adebutu and the PDP at the Election Petitions Tribunal.

Also speaking on the programme, Oladunjoye said the APC won “fair and square” despite the massive vote-buying and other electoral infractions engaged in by the opposition party.

Oladunjoye, who displayed one of the credit cards on the show, carpeted Solarin for being economical with the truth by feigning ignorance of the heinous electoral infractions committed by his party on the election day.

While advising Adebutu and the PDP to stop chasing shadows, the APC spokesperson said Governor Abiodun was declared winner of the poll having satisfied the constitutional requirement as stipulated in the electoral act.

He further lampooned Adebutu and the PDP for embarking on a “show of shame” by mobilizing hoodlums to the INEC head office in the name of submitting a petition.

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