Ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Imo State, the state governor, Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been accused of buying votes by enticing people with the palliatives given to governors by the Federal Government to cushion the harsh effects of the fuel subsidy removal.
In videos obtained by SaharaReporters on Friday, Governor Uzodimma’s representatives at polling unit 007 Town School Ogbor in Uvuru Ward 2 in the Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area were accused of sharing out palliatives to residents and videoed them while asking them to display their voter cards and confirm that they would vote for Uzodimma.
“After sharing of rice at booth 007 Town School Ogbor, that is, palliative from Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma. It looks like vote buying using Federal Government palliative materials to buy people’s vote,” the source said.
In some videos shared with SaharaReporters, a representative of the APC who did not disclose his identity in the video is heard saying, “This is booth (poll unit) 007 Uvuru Ward 2. You can see how marvelous this booth is. This is total APC compliance, as you can see their voter cards. It is not a mere talk. See old women and children.
“These people are wonderful. There are a lot of cards in booth 007, Uvuru Ward 2. Card is surplus. This is a total clampdown of any other political party in Uvuru Ward 2.
“Most of the women you see here, their husbands are in the house and they are supporting. We are going to get times three of this number in our boot.”
He said, “Is that true?” to which the women echoed, “Yes oo.”
He asked, “Who should we vote for?” The women answered, “broom” and he said, “We will vote for Hope…” to which the women responded, “Uzodimma”. Then he asked, “Are you all happy?” to which they answered, “Yes, let him do us well.”
When SaharaReporters contacted the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Uzodimma, Oguwike Nwachukwu, he said, “All these allegations are unfounded.”
He said, “On the palliatives, Governor Hope Uzodimma was the first governor to flag off the mode of distribution of the items and he clearly directed that the items were meant for all Imolites, including people from other states who are resident in the state.
“To underscore his seriousness about how to share the palliatives, the governor included security agencies as members of the palliatives distribution committee and specially urged them to report anyone or group that goes contrary to the directive that the items should be shared out to everyone. So, it is mere lies and blackmail.”