Dayo Johnson – Akure
ONDO State government and the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, Monday disagreed on the alleged planned attack on its governorship candidate of ZLP, Hon Agboola Ajayi in Owo, the hometown of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Ajayi had alleged that he suspended his electioneering campaign to Owo because of a planned attack by suspected thugs sponsored by governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
But the information and Orientation commissioner Donald Ojogo at a press conference in Akure alleged that Ajayi planned to stage an attack on himself in Governor Akeredolu hometown and in turn blame the state government.
Ojogo said the plot was quickly abolished and the campaign to Owo cancelled after relevant agencies were informed.
He said: “information at the disposal of the Ondo State Government is to the effect that the Governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Mr Agboola Ajayi, has hatched a plot to organise an attack on his convoy.
“The incident is planned for Tuesday and targeted to have been carried out by supporters of a political party as he visits Owo as part of his campaign tour.
“The Ondo State Government has implicit confidence in the capacity of the security agencies to unravel the circumstances leading to skirmishes in the last three weeks.
“We are, however, persuaded to believe that most of such attacks are organised by ‘the loud victims’ to demonise the government and paint a savoury atmosphere of insecurity as we approach the October 10 election.
“ln the case of today’s planned imaginary theatre of violence, Ajayi, characteristically, desires not the seat of Governor. The motive is to create a crisis and play the ignoble role of an underdog and victim in order to attract public sympathy. No lie has an endless speed.
“The State Government wishes to reiterate its sustained call on the security agencies to heighten their surveillance and stem every untoward move in the direction of a peaceful election. Providing adequate security for Ajayi as he tours Owo today, can only be a potent effort to forestall a dangerous slide into perfidy.
On its part, the Ajayi campaign organisation in a statement issued by its Director-General, Dr Kola Ademujimi said that the suspension of the rally “becomes necessary because intelligent reports revealed that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, has perfected plots to lay siege of attacks on the supporters and members of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) who want to attend the rally.
Ademujimi said “in fact, the Owo woman leader and many of our supporters had been physically attacked since yesterday and their properties destroyed.
“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his party have become so hostile since they’re aware of the imminent defeat staring at them at the October 10 governorship election.
“The Deputy Governor and governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi has always said and wishes to reiterate that his aspiration to provide purposeful leadership for Ondo State doesn’t worth the blood of any citizen of the State.
“The Zenith Labour Party,(ZLP), has conducted a clinical campaign across seventeen (17) local government areas in the state without any blemish.
“We, therefore, urge our teeming supporters in Owo Local Government Area to continue with the house to house campaign and mobilisation.
He said that the party “regrets any inconvenience this sudden change must have caused.