The governor-elect of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji has debunked the allegation of vote-buying against the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded governorship election in the state.
Oyebanji, who spoke at the state house Abuja on Monday noted that neither he nor the ruling party was involved in vote-buying as alleged, saying they canvassed votes from the electorate based on the stellar performance of the outgoing government which led to their victory at the poll.
He insisted that he did not witness any vote-buying in the polling unit where he voted, adding that he won the poll based on his previous performance as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in the state.
Meanwhile, President Buhari said he was delighted with the orderly conduct of the Ekiti governorship election, and the way the electorate and security agencies comported themselves.
“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 to sustain it.”
The president spoke while receiving the Governor elected Governor who was led to the event by the Chairman of APC, Abdullahi Adamu, Governors Kayode Fayemi, Atiku Bagudu, and Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Ekiti, Kebbi, and Jigawa States, respectively.
Adamu ascribed all the glory for the election victory to God and pledged that same would be replicated in Osun State next month.
He affirmed that the allegation of vote-buying was being sponsored by aggrieved persons who lost at the poll.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo; and Senior Special Assistant to the President (Domestic), Sarki Abba, also attended the meeting with the President.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Oyebanji, the APC candidate as the winner of the keenly contested election it conducted on Saturday.
Oyebanji polled 187,057 votes – over 100,000 votes more than that of his closest rival, Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who scored 82,211 votes in the election while Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came third in the poll with 67,457 votes.
Following the declaration, there were allegations that the election was marred with irregularities, including the hiring of hoodlums for vote-buying and snatching of ballot boxes allegedly by the APC – claims which the ruling party swiftly denied.