OrderPaperToday- The lawmaker currently representing the Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State (PDP) has dismissed the allegations of vote-buying by some presidential aspirants under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmaker described the claim as baseless, untrue and the handwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in an attempt to undermine the success of the PDP’s recently concluded convention, which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Since Saturday, the media has been awash with reports accusing some candidates of pulling the votes they got through vote-buying, leading the highest bidder to victory.
Reacting to the news, Mr. Henry Archibong told OrderPaper Nigeria in a telephone chat, that he was a delegate at the convention but he did not receive any money from any candidate. He went on to state that to the best of his knowledge, no one he knew was offered any money, unlike the news being reported in the media.
“No, no, no, this is the propaganda of the ruling party because they wouldn’t see anything good in our party. You see, in every election, usually you will do whatever you can do to win election [as long as] you don’t kill. I was at the convention and I never saw any money as I hear they say we were given over ten thousand dollars, so you can imagine how many delegates must have been given ten thousand dollars, it is not true. As for me, even if people were given that money there’s nothing wrong because the most important thing is that we went in there and voted someone who we feel can redeem the country,” he explained.
Speaking about the general conduct of the election, he noted the PDP presidential primaries went well because everyone was accorded equal opportunity and fairness took precedence.
“The just concluded PDP presidential primaries in Port Harcourt was fantastic and one of the freest election I have ever witnessed in the history of this country because at the end of the exercise everyone seems happy and satisfied that Atiku emerged.”
He further expressed optimism that their candidate will emerge victorious in the presidential election come February, 2019.
According to him, Atiku is a good choice made by the Party. “He has the pedigree, the experience and exposure and I think we are better with his choice of candidature.”
He dismissed insinuations that Atiku was not a strong candidate because he hails from the northeast, which traditionally pulls less votes than the area his opponent is from.
“I want to state here that Atiku is a very strong force to reckon with but be that as it may, even if he is not a strong candidate, he has the support of of our great party. And mind you, somebody like Kwankwaso who is form Kano State would bring his power to bear, Tambuwal brings his power to bear, and of course someone like Saraki from Kwara State would deliver the state to PDP,” he hinted.
On the other hand, Mr. Peter Akpatason from Edo State (APC), mocked the PDP presidential candidate, saying that beating him at the polls next year would be a walk-over for President Buhari. He explained why by accusing Atiku of lacking credibility and integrity, saying that President Buhari can still ‘hold his head high’ as a non-corrupt person.
In a telephone interview with OrderPaper Nigeria he said: “What is special about Atiku that would would make anyone jittery in APC? After all, we have a more credible and popular candidate that has performed so well so we are not perturbed. I’m also not worried at all because he, Atiku, can not extricate himself from the rot of [the] PDP for 16 years of rule and whereas our candidate is credible and trustworthy.”