Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman’s remarks at the opening of a two-day roundtable conference with the theme, “Party Politics in Nigeria and Lobbying, the Lobbyist and the Legislature,” on Monday, in Abuja, where he alleged that political parties in the country budgeted money with which to bribe security agents and officials of the electoral body during elections, has generated ripples among political parties with some of them coming out to deny the allegation.
While the ANPP claimed it wasn’t in a position to offer bribes to INEC and security agents, it however said such practice shouldn’t be put beyond the ruling party, PDP, saying, “it (bribery) is clearly the practice act of the PDP.” In its own defence, the LP said Jega must have been making reference to “pressures from money bags in the big political parties… not small parties like Labour Party that are struggling to meet their obligations financially.”
However, the ruling party is not taking any of these accusations lying low as the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, while speaking with journalists in Abuja, said that it was impossible for INEC to rig elections in the country as gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo states respectively, have shown.
Metu said, “We heard what the INEC chairman said that some political parties attempted to bribe INEC officials to help rig or influence elections, but our response to it is that the INEC chairman should be honourable enough to mention the names of the political parties involved.
“Under the circumstances of transparent and fair elections, INEC officials can no longer rig or influence elections as shown from the result of governorship elections that were held in Edo and Ondo states.
“We are therefore urging the commission to mention the names of political parties that offered bribes to it to enable the PDP reclaim the two states.”