The Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, has accused the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu, of deploying violence in electioneering.
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Felix Olatunde, in a statement in Akure called on the Inspector General of Police, the Director of the State Department of Security Service, the international community to intervene and help call Ondo State Government, Rotimi Akeredolu, to order and free Ondo from unnecessary bloodshed.’’
The statement reads: “We are deeply troubled by the spate of violence being perpetrated by the ruling party, the APC, in Ondo State in this electioneering period. Recently, a member of our party the Zenith Labour Party, Taye Okafor, was murdered in Idanre by thugs suspected to be APC members and these elements were allegedly seen in the convoy of the current Governor, brandishing guns and other weapons and being given VIP treatments.
“Our meetings are being disrupted by the same set of thugs across the state. Just yesterday, a former Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akeredolu, who is now a member of the ZLP, was being trailed by unknown assailants in Akure.
“All these incidents and more have been reported to the Police and all other security agencies but unfortunately nothing has been done.
“It can be said that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is not committed to a peaceful election. In fact, he is encouraging violence and thuggery by his actions and inactions. It is on record that he has never publicly or privately condemned all these despicable crimes by members of his party.’’
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Responding, the publicity secretary of the ruling APC, Alex Kalejaye said the party has no reason to support violence.
He described the allegations of sponsoring violence against the ruling party a blackmail and tissue of lies to create the impression that the ruling party promotes thuggery.
He noted that governor Akeredolu “will never be a man to go about with guns or be a party to violence of whatever colouration’’ and urged the security agencies to go ruthless on any party or individual that is bent on promoting violence in the state.
Also, the Akeredolu campaign Organisation claimed that it has uncovered a sinister plot by ZLP to militarise Ilaje council area of Ondo during the October 10 governorship election.
This evil plan, the campaign organisation alleged “is targeted at intimidating the people and discouraging them from coming out to vote, thereby giving the ZLP a conducive atmosphere to rig the election in favour of its candidate, according to a statement by its spokesperson, Richard Olabode Olatunde.
Olatunde said: “We can authoritatively say that this is part of the grand plans of the ZLP and its candidate, Agboola Ajayi to subvert the will of the people, who are determined to return a bloc votes for the APC and its candidate, Akeredolu, in Ilaje Local Government Area.
“The ZLP is aware that the people of Ilaje are determined to vote massively for the APC, particularly to see that their son, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who is the deputy Governorship candidate of the APC, is voted into power.
“The Akeredolu/ Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation is bringing this to the public, due to its belief that, the people must be allowed to exercise their franchise without intimidation or fear on the Election Day. “Again, since prevention of crime remains the best way to enhance security, the appropriate agencies must act now.
“Also, the State Governor and APC Governorship Candidate, Ararakunrin Akeredolu has at different times, reiterated the fact that no election is worth the blood of the citizens. So, this dubious plan by the ZLP should not only be condemned, but prevented from happening.
“While we are calling on the security agencies to intervene and save Ondo State from electoral violence and deliberate intimidation, we want to urge our supporters across the state, particularly the people of Ilaje to remain calm, but say no to intimidation and evil plans by the ZLP and their cohorts.’’