By Dayo Johnson
The re-elected Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state and the All Progressive Congress have lambasted the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election, Eyitayo Jegede over his allegation that his life is being threatened for challenging the outcome of the poll at the election tribunal.
Jegede had alleged that various meetings were held at very high quarters by those who feel threatened by the step taken by him to petition the tribunal.
His Media aide Gbenga Akinmoyo in the statement had said that “We use this opportunity to notify the security agencies of this threat and/or likely breach of security around our Candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, we believe the security agencies will rise up to the occasion and take the threat seriously.
But, in a swift response, Akeredolu said that Jegede should face his petition and stop seeking attention by his ” lame attempt to stir unpopular discussion around an exercise that has been concluded by the good people of Ondo State”.
Akeredolu through the spokesperson of his Campaign Organisation, Richard Olabode Olatunde said that ” the latest whining of the defeated Eyitayo Jegede SAN, on an alleged threat to life did not come to us as a surprise.
“This is because Jegede has been known with his series of attention-seeking tactics even during the electioneering campaign ahead of the October 10th Guber election.
“The news of the allegation of threat to life credited to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election is, therefore, another lame attempt to stir unpopular discussion around an exercise that has been concluded by the good people of Ondo State.
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” lt is clear that while the resounding victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN against Jegede’s expectation is no longer news, the PDP candidate perhaps still lives in an unfortunate illusion.
“Without prejudice to the tribunal, we make bold to say that the alarm raised by Jegede over what he termed “threat to life” is an evasive strategy to further hoodwink his unsuspecting followers into believing in his legal voyage which has held them spellbound.
“If anything, Jegede should look within his party, the PDP and beam searchlight into its leadership crisis, particularly the internal wrangling which has led to the brickbats as seen in the media lately.
“lnstead of seeking undue attention with unfounded claims and infantile alarms, Jegede should face his petition at the tribunal and allow the cause of law to determine its merit even as this alarm seems preemptive and defeatist in reasoning.
“While recalling the different show of violence by the PDP in the build-up to the last election, we want to say emphatically, that, as candidate of a political party who marketed violence, Jegede can not be threatened by anyone. Nevertheless, we urged the security agencies to provide adequate protection for him.
“The APC is a peaceful political party that respects the wishes of the people. At least, we are sure that not anyone from the APC would threaten Jegede’s life, especially with the shallow document called election petition he has deposited at the Tribunal.
Also, the All Progressive Congress through its state Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaye said that Jegede should stop trivialising security issues
Kalejaye in a statement said that ” the party, whose relevance on the political space in Ondo State has been irredeemably deflated, also alleged, recently, that some of their leaders collected money from, and worked for the APC during the election.
“Our initial reaction, as a more mature and well-organised political party, was to ignore these frivolous and attention-seeking allegations, but doing so would encourage their vehicle of lies to travel at a top speed.
“The APC frowns at any attempt to trivialise the issue of security to life and property in Ondo State. It is one area the current administration has invested so much, to ensure the State is safe and peaceful.
“We have so much to brood, particularly the issue of welfare of the people, and development of the State, at a time revenue allocations are not impressive, than contemplating threatening the life of any individual.
” The APC-led government has a duty to promote, and ensure the security of every resident of Ondo State, irrespective of party affiliation. It is therefore unfortunate that Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN would author such a spurious allegation.
“To us, the election has come and gone, with the winner scoring fifteen over eighteen. We also have no qualms with any candidate’s decision to challenge our victory at the tribunal.
“We view that as part of the beauty of democracy and a way to sustain the hope of followers.
” The State chapter enjoins the PDP and its candidate to jettison frivolity, and concentrate on gathering or manufacturing evidence to prosecute their case at the tribunal. Seeking sympathy through propaganda won’t yield results.
“We also consider as comical the desire of the PDP to hold APC responsible for its failure to organise and control it’s leaders and members during the election. Otherwise, how would the party accuse the APC of influencing, and leading away their stalwarts with monetary inducements?.
He said that ” lt is pertinent to educate the opposition party that the APC relied on performance, and vigorous but decent campaigns before the election, to garner the enviable number of votes, and not financial inducements.