Ondo 2020: PDP, group berate Akeredolu over statement
The Ondo state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a group within Akure community in Ondo state, Akure Reform Ambassadors (ARA) on Tuesday, condemned a statement credited to the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, who said it is not the turn of Akure community to produce the governor of the state
While the party described the statement as one filled with vile, hate and wickedness, the group described the governor’s statement as unfortunate, bullish and capable of inciting the good and peace loving people of Akure.
Condemning the governor’s statement, the PDP through its Director of Publicity, Zadok Akintoye, alleged Akeredolu of deliberately sowing seeds of discord and promoting interethnic disharmony within the state ahead of the 2020 governorship election
Akintoye said in the statement “our attention has been drawn to a statement made by the Governor of Ondo state, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu where he purportedly claimed that the Akure sub-ethnic unit in Ondo state are unqualified at the moment to seek the mandate of the people to lead the state.
“Our party believes it is within the right of every indigene of Ondo state to aspire and, if the people so decide, become a governor.
“It is not the duty of any self-imposed anti-democratic leader to undermine the right of the people.
“As a party, the PDP will provide a level playing field for its members across the three senatorial districts who may wish to succeed the failing and poorly performing government of APC in the state.”
The PDP in the state said further “as a party, we remind the governor to keep in mind the fact that interethnic disharmony that he seeks to profit from with his unguarded and subliminally offensive comment, would do our state no good. We must keep uniting all interest in Ondo state for the benefit of all.
“We find it a putrid and highly condemnable comment by the governor and an attempt to pitch the people against each other for electoral gain.
“We must as a matter of urgency, educate the governor on his role as a democratically elected leader of the state, which includes seeking to unite the people of this state in a way and manner as to engender unity.
“His comment, which alluded to a phantom opportunity of a ministerial appointment for the Akure people, remains undemocratic, uneducated and unfair to the people.
Similarly, the group, ARA, in a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Mr Joshua Oluwadare, expressed displeasure over the statement saying the governor secured an overwhelming victory in the two local government areas of Akure during the 2016 governorship election, defeating his main opponent who hailed from Akureland.
The group berated governor Akeredolu for relegating the people of the ancient town to the background by saying that Akure sub-ethnic unit is unqualified at the moment to seek the mandate of the people to lead the state.
They said “our attention has been drawn to the media reports on a statement credited to the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, that it is “not the turn of Akure community to produce the governor of the State”.
“While we acknowledge the right of Mr Governor to express his opinion on the politics of the state, we, however, see such categorical statement as unfortunate, bullish and capable of inciting the good and peace loving people of Akure”.
“That Akeredolu and his party, the All Progressives Congress, won the governorship election in both Akure South and Akure North local government areas in the last election in 2016 despite his main opponent being from the region is not enough for the governor to take the people of Akure for granted”.
They, however, reminded the governor that “the governorship seat of Ondo State is not an exclusive preserve of any community. Owo, where the governor hails from, has produced two elected governors of the state while Akure, the state capital, is yet to produce one.
“Therefore, Mr Governor is not in a position to determine when Akure community will produce a governor in the state”
Akeredolu drew the ire of the Akure people while speaking at a reception, held in honour of immediate past senator representing Ondo Central District at the weekend, where he urged the people to look towards producing minister to represent the state when President Muhammadu Buhari would inaugurate his cabinet.
The group, however, said “the Ministerial slot of the state being dangled by Mr Governor before the people of Akure is not and cannot be enough for the community to abandon her right to the Alagbaka seat of the State.
“We know that President Muhammadu Buhari will decide who becomes Minister from the State and he has a number of qualified Akure indigenes for him to consider.
“The community will be grateful to Mr President if he appoints a Minister from Akure and will appreciate the governor’s effort in making that a reality. However, that will not be a substitute for the governorship of the state for the people of Akure”
Oluwadare said “as it has been in every election in the State, the people of Akure will decide who becomes their governor in the next election and that decision will not be handed down to the community by Mr Governor.
“If the governor wants to seek reelection, he will make his case to seek the support and votes of Akure people, just like any other candidate for the seat.
“While the people of Akure appreciate the efforts of Mr Governor in infrastructural development of Akure and other parts of the State, we will not concede to him the right to take a political decision on behalf of Akure community.”