BY DAYO JOHNSON
AKURE – The Labour Party (LP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday differed on the reason why the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi failed to attend the ongoing debate organised by the National Election Debate Group, NEDG, ahead of the governorship election on October 20.
First to fire the salvo was the Action Congress of Nigeria which accused the LP Deputy Governor of refusing to attend because he “could not face the intimidation of other candidates who are intelligent, articulate and vibrant.”
But in a swift reaction, the ruling LP said the unruly behaviour of the opposition made Olanusi not to attend the debate and not that he was intimidated.
However, the Director of Strategy and Communication of the Independent Campaign Network of the ACN, Bosun Oladimeji said in a statement in Akure that “viewing the AIT Live telecast on Ondo State guber debate which Ali Olanusi refused to attend is a clear testimony that Gov. Rahman Olusegun Mimiko has only handpicked a second fiddle for the revered position of Deputy Governor of Ondo State for the fact that he believes in mediocres whom he can toss about and even under-play.
“Average Ondo State people should know that there is no government in power but only Mimiko; he is the only person in power. That is why you see Mimiko sacking qualified advisers and replacing them with mere back street photographers”.
Oladimeji, however, described the ACN deeputy governorship candidate, Dr. Paul Akintelure as a man who attended the debate with natural mental endowment and intimidating credentials.
But the Director of Media and Publicity of the Olusegun Mimiko Campaign Organisation, Kolawole Olabisi in a statement, said that unfavourable security reports made him to stay away, saying he did not shun the debate.
He said Olanusi had to be prevailed upon by unfavourable security reports which pointed to the fact that the opposition was planning to unleash violence on his person.
which it is already doing by embarking on vigorous campaign exercises to the electorate all over the
Olabisi called on security agencies in the State to be abreast of events, arrest those who have in the last few months brought an unprecedented level of violence and brigandage on the people saying that Ondo State was peaceful before they imported their do-or-die syndrome into the State.
“”MCO equally warned that the era of political thuggery, ballot snatching and intimidation of the electorate was over as the security agencies were on top of the situation and would deal with anybody found contravening the law with fear or favour.