As 48 governorship candidates from 48 political parties jostle for 1,246,915 votes in the Osun State governorship election holding on Saturday (today), some of the contestants and their political associates have devised new means and tactics to induce voters ahead of the poll.
Investigation by Saturday PUNCH revealed that the representatives of at least one of the contestants were using the WhatsApp social media platform to woo Permanent Voter Card holders, who are residents of Osun State, to sell their votes.
This was despite attempts by the Independent National Electoral Commission to curb vote-buying and selling especially in the Osun election.
Checks by Punch correspondents showed that the associates of the contestants cleverly hid their identities.
To track the identities of the buyers and the politicians they were working for, one of our correspondents connected to an online link that in turn linked him with a WhatsApp number 08120569530, where he was asked a series of questions to ascertain if he actually had a permanent voter card and if he was an Osun State indigene.
The administrator later promised that N10,000 would be deposited into our correspondent’s account number at 6am on Election Day. The correspondent was asked to send his account detail, age, town, ward and unit to claim the amount.
The administrator said, “You’ll receive bank alert 6am on the Election Day. Don’t forget to pass this good news to all your friends and family. Make sure you add us to you(r) phone book and don’t forget to send this to all your friends and family living in around Osun State. Expect our call anytime from now.”
It was difficult to ascertain the party or governorship candidate that initiated the payment process.