Vote buying in the 2018 governorship election in Osun State has taken another dimension as politicians have resorted to buying vote via a popular text-messaging app, WhatsApp.
The broadcast message aimed at buying votes from electorates has been in circulation since Friday, September 21, 2018.
Mode of operation
Some of the agents of the politicians created WhatsApp group where they collate data (unit units, ward, state) of prospective electorates, and promise to call them to locate where they’d be voting.
Sample of the vote buying WhatsApp message:
The broadcast message read:
“OSUN PDP is crediting people’s account with the sum of N10,000. Click on the below blue link to send your Bank account details https://bit.ly/2xlnw1N NOTE: Make sure you have your PVC available.”
What happens when you join the vote-buying WhatsApp group?
InfomediaNG noticed that the link to join the group is secretly hidden using one of the URL shortners, bit.ly
But when another URL expander is used to know where the link goes to, this is what we got:……
The operator of the group was asking electorates to drop their polling unit details, and bank account details at the time of filing this report.
See sample below:
“Do you have your PVC? If yes, Congratulations Add us to your contact list Send you bank details in this format
- Bank name:
- Account name:
- Account number:
You’ll receive bank alert 6:00am 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 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.”
The implication of this:
It means the announcement by INEC that the use of phones inside the cubicle on election days is having effect on the process. It’s good.
But politicians and their agents are also becoming more desperate to buy the electorates.