ONDO 2020: Ajayi battles Akeredolu over denial of venue to launch campaign
… Akeredolu is intolerant, denied us the venue, hiked from N5m to N11m
… it’s blackmail, count us out of your ordeal- Ondo Govt
Dayo Johnson Akure.
AHEAD of the next month governorship aspirant election in Ondo state, the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party and the deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi has lashed his boss, governor Rotimi Akeredolu of 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 said ” the Office of the Ondo State Deputy Governor and candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), 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 (ZLP) as the October 10 governorship election approaches.
“Let be it known that the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) 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 process, 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 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for its own rally on Saturday, 12th September 2020.
“Even at that, the Zenith Labour Party ( ZLP) was ready to pay the N11 million charged but the official in charge disappeared. It then became clear that Governor Akeredolu was ready to frustrate the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). This is a condemnable act!
” lt is disheartening that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria can preside over a government that would deny the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) 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 (ZLP).
“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 10 am.
However, reports in the state had it that the deputy governor opted for the free venue to flag off his campaign because he is cash strapped.
” The choice of the free venue was due to the inability of the party to raise money to hire a venue.
But the party and the candidate had rubbished such insinuation saying the campaign is on and the party was not cash trapped as portrayed by the ruling government in the state.
** it’s blackmail, count us out of your ordeal- Ondo Govt.
Reacting, the information and Orientation commissioner Donald Ojogo
the state government and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Ojogo said that “The futile attempt to drag the Ondo State Government into the 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 to divert the attention of the people from proper public scrutiny of those who have chosen to throw their hats in the ring.
The commissioner said “The most illogical stunt is when the ZLP candidate alluded to a puerile allegation that an officer ran away even when the sum of N11 m 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