A percentage of the crowd that turn up at election campaign rallies held by political parties for the forthcoming general elections is rented. Each of those contracted for the rallies are paid between N500 and N5,000. The amount paid depends on the profile of the event, the distance of the venue and the calibre of people engaged.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the major opposition party, All Progressives Congress, as well as other parties has been making claims, especially on social media, that the huge crowd that turn up at their campaigns was a proof of their popularity.
In Uyo, a member of the PDP, Mr. Eric Ekanem, who spoke to one of SUNDAY PUNCH‘s correspondent, said, “If you observe, you will see that those who attend PDP rallies and campaigns are often mobilised at the end of the event, where they are given between N200 and N2000 each.
“The amount each person receives depends on the groups they belong.” An Eket-based woman, Ms. Ikwo Edet, said she was paid N500 after the last political rally she attended in Uyo. In Umuahia, Abia State, a source, who begged not to be named, revealed that unemployed youths, students of both secondary and tertiary institutions, tricycle and motorcycle riders, as well as traders form the category of individuals easily rented.
The source said the rent ranges from N500 to N3000, depending on the category of the individual and the importance of the political rally.
Confirming this, a tricycle driver, who identified himself as ‘One Nigeria’, said he did not belong to any political party but was ready to be hired by any party that could pay his charges.