By Dayo Johnson
CANDIDATE of the All Progressive Congress in the Ondo state governorship election and governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu has lashed his River state counterpart, Nyesom Wike over his allegation that his party was putting pressure on the independent National Electoral Commission INEC to rig the October election in his favour.
Recall that governor Wike on a Television program had alleged that APC in Ondo State has perfected plans to rig the governorship election by putting pressure on INEC.
However, Akeredolu speaking through his information and Orientation commissioner Donald Ojogo in Akure said ” in all aspects, Governor Wike deserves respect not just as governor but as a critical stakeholder in the Democratic journey.
“He has his inalienable rights as a citizen to express his mind and make comments about whatever he feels strongly about.
“However, what amuses us is his imperious attitude and recourse to spurious allegations just because of an election.
“He should know that the people of the State who have a history of rejecting external influence and domination, will resist his attempt to play the role of a godfather in Ondo state. Ondo is not Rivers.
“The man ought to know that utterances of public office holders must be measured and their delivery ought to be in line with the mood of the people.
“The people of the state will resist Wike here even if he had roared elsewhere successfully. For emphasis, his imperialistic approach is most unfortunate and very unbecoming.
Also, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC Alex Kalejaye has said that rigging the October 10 governorship election was not part of its plan.
A statement by Kalejaye said the party ” will continue to appeal to the people to renew the mandate given its candidate four years ago, considering the efforts of the APC-led government to reposition the State, rather than resort to rigging as alleged by Rivers State Governor, Mr. Oyesom Wike.
“The State chapter is of the view that such a statement could only emanate from a man who never believed that elections could be won without crude intimidation, violence, and rigging.
“Decency in politics and thoughts of transparent election are alien to the likes of Governor Oyesom Wike, due to their political background.
“APC in Ondo State has no reason to contemplate rigging in a state where it has won the confidence of the people on account of performance and integrity.
” For the benefits of Mr. Wike, we are banking on the popularity of our candidate, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, that of his running mate, Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa, and the projects APC led government has initiated and executed in less than four years.
” The APC has constructed bridges, roads, schools; set up an industrial hub at Ore, activated Bitumen production.
” We have recorded unprecedented intervention in Agriculture, and currently pursuing, with uncommon vigour, building a deep seaport in the Southern Senatorial District, to boost the economy of Ondo State.
“The APC has a presence in all the eighteen local government areas, and therefore, not going into the election as a party with Senatorial base.
Kalejaye therefore “appealed to Governor Wike and his team not to come to Ondo State with their do-or-die version of politics. We are going into an election, and not preparing for war.