The Aketi Campaign Platform, the campaign group of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has raised the alarm over alleged importation of thugs from Lagos and Osun states for attacks on APC members and cause violence in the Saturday governorship election.
A statement by the spokesman of the campaign platform, Soji Alakuro, alleged that the thugs were being sponsored by Lagos and Osun governments in alleged active connivance of the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to unleash violence on Ondo State to help the candidate of the Alliance of Democracy, Olusola Oke, in the weekend governorship election.
Alakuro expressed dismay at the desperation of Lagos and Osun States’ governors in Ondo State election, wondering while the governors elected on the platform of APC would be working against their party in favour a party that had no roots and no single councilor across the country.
Akeredolu’s spokesman added that Fayose’s connection was baffling, wondering while a governor elected on the platform of PDP would abandon his party to work for the success of the opposition party in Ondo State.
Berating the three governors for their acts of desperation in Oke’s support, he said AD’s allegation of rigging against the Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Works and Power Minister, Babatunde Fasola, Kaduna Governor Nasir el-Rufai was a smokescreen to cover their alleged evil plan.
He added that the latest discovery followed alleged deployment of N10b by Lagos State government to help Oke win the election “to allow Lagos and Osun axis control the economic and political destiny of Ondo State people”.
He said: “We have it on good authority that fierce-looking thugs are being housed at Oke’s expansive home and other adjoining streets in Ijapo Estate.
“Members of the public can recollect that media reports had earlier indicated that Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State working with Fayose had earlier ferried suspected Niger Delta militants to Ekiti State during his last visit to Ondo and Ekiti states in readiness for deployment for Ondo election.
“Reports indicated that Dickson was allegedly coordinating the recruitment of the militants from the Niger Delta while Fayose is complementing this with the deployment of a factional local ethnic militia called OPC under a disguised name of ‘Vigilante’ all lodged in Ekiti State Government House for onward deployment in Ondo State to cause violence to rig election in Oke’s favour while they take over the media to turn around that APC is planning to rig.
“What the desperados are doing is called reversed psychology, where planners of evils accuse the innocent of planning evils.
“They had earlier disbursed billions of their state funds to back Oke, part of which they spent to book all the hotels in Akure to enable their thugs lodge there.”
He urged security agents to comb all hotels in the state capital to fish out the thugs that were allegedly armed to disrupt Saturday’s election “if it does not go Oke’s way”.
Assuring voters that security agents would protect them from “desperate acts of outside sponsors with the eye to control Ondo’s economy,” he charged Ondo people to resist attempt by Oke to sell Ondo State to “outside sponsors who are desperate to recoup their money through manipulation of contracts and appointments”.
Urging voters to vote for Akeredolu as “independent-minded candidate who is also sincere about the development of the state and its citizens”, Alakuro said: “Media reports as contained in Thisday newspaper of November 18, 2016 indicated that Oke has ceded the positions of the SSG, chairmanship of OSOPADEC), commissioner for finance, commissioner for works, commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, commissioner for health and the headship of Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue to his Lagos and Osun sponsors.
“Other positions ceded by Oke to Lagos and Osun in his deal with his sponsors, according to the newspaper, include six caretaker committee chairmanship positions, two per senatorial district; four special advisers, while Aregbesola’s former Special Adviser, Bola Ilori, is tipped for Secretary to State Government (SSG).
“Lagos-based chartered accountant, Mr Adebo Akinbobola, according to the report, will take the position of commissioner for finance while one Dr Taiwo Malumi is chosen by the former Lagos governor for the chairmanship of OSOPADEC.”
Warning the voters against sale into slavery, he urged them to vote for Akeredolu “who emerged as APC’s candidate through due process of people’s support” and who would work in the interest of Ondo people and not for any outside sponsors.