Ajayi battles Akeredolu over denial of venue to launch campaign
…Akeredolu is intolerant, denied us venue, hiked from N5m to N11m
…It’s blackmail; count us out of your ordeal —Ondo govt
By Dayo Johnson
AHEAD of the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, and Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, has lashed his boss, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, for trying to frustrate the flag off of his campaign.
Ajayi, in a statement in Akure by his Media Adviser, Allen Sowore accused Akeredolu of intolerance.
The statement read: “The Office of the Ondo State Deputy Governor and candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, Agboola Ajayi is again constrained to draw the attention of the general public, particularly, the good people of Ondo State, to the growing intolerance and undemocratic temperament of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu,SAN, towards the people’s choice – the Zenith Labour Party as the October 10 governorship election approaches.
“Let it be known that the Zenith Labour Party applied for the usage of the M K O Abiola Democracy Park, Akure to flag off its campaign rally. After the successful completion of all due processes, the agency responsible, acting on the instruction of Ondo State governor, deliberately hiked the price from the original five million naira, which the venue was given out to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for its own rally on Saturday, 12th September, 2020.
“lt is disheartening that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria can preside over a government that would deny the Zenith Labour Party the use of any public facility especially the Democracy Park built under the visionary leadership of Dr Olusegun Mimiko, who is the national leader of the Zenith Labour Party.
“We therefore call on the elder statesmen, religious leaders, lovers of democracy and all discerning minds to advise Mr Governor to tow the path of honour and desist from undemocratic and perfidious acts.
“Ondo State belongs to all of us and nobody should use the mere privilege of leadership to ruin our prestige as the state of courageous and enlightened people.’’
Meanwhile, the rally has been shifted to the government field in Ore, in Odigbo council area of the state on Saturday 19, at 10am.
“The choice of the free venue was due to the inability of the party to raise money to hire a venue.
It’s blackmail; count us out of your ordeal —Ondo govt
Reacting, the Information and Orientation Commissioner, Donald Ojogo dissociated the state government from Ajayi’s troubles.
He said: “The futile attempt to drag the Ondo State Government into arena of frustrations suffered by the ZLP is most unacceptable. It must be noted that the venue in question is not under the control of the State Government. It has long been firmed out to a consultant who manages the facility.”
“The recourse to blackmail is a deliberate blackmail venture aimed diverting the attention of the people from proper public scrutiny of those who have chosen to throw their hats in the ring.”
“The most illogical stunt is when the ZLP candidate alluded to a puerile allegation that an officer ran away even when the sum of N11m was to be paid. Perhaps, that was very ridiculous because it means such official must have deliberately allowed such huge sum to elude him.”
Written by Kartia Velino