As the Ondo State governorship election draws nearer, a group, the Ondo State Youths Initiative (OSYI), has accused the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Agboola Ajayi, of planning to instigate violence.
The group alleged that Ajayi, who is the governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) for the October 10 governorship poll, was stockpiling arms and training a militia group ahead of the election.
The Coordinator of the group, Mr Lukman Akintoye, who made the allegation on Sunday, urged security agencies to be on the lookout, especially for the influx of strange faces during the period of the election.
Akintoye said “We want to put the public and our security agencies on the alert and warn them to be wary of strange faces and movement in their neighbourhood, particularly people in Ese-Odo, Ilaje, Owo, Akure South, Idanre, Akoko North East and Ose local government areas.
“Information at our disposal revealed that Ajayi, in connivance with some governors, who are sponsoring his governorship ambition, in their clandestine move are perfecting plans on how to deploy men of this militia group in these local governments three weeks before the poll with the sole aim of causing violence on election day.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Mr Tope Okeowo, denied the allegations, saying the APC members were the ones singing the songs of war ahead of the election.
Okeowo said, “Go and watch a video of an APC governorship aspirant. In that video, the APC-led government threatened violence in the election. The APC-led government in the video promised to use the Kogi model for the Ondo State election.
“He (the aspirant) said the NURTW members would be deployed for the governorship election. So, if there is anybody stockpiling weapons, it is the APC leaders as demonstrated in the Saturday local government election.”
Meanwhile, another group, Democracy Action Vanguard (DAV), has called for the arrest of a former Chairman of the APC in the state, Mr Isaac Kekemeke, over alleged threat to unleash mayhem on the opposition in the upcoming governorship election in the state.
The group made the call on Sunday in a statement titled, ‘Threat to rig Ondo gov poll: Arrest Kekemeke now, group tells IGP, DSS, NIA’.
The group said, “Kekemeke must explain the APC’s plans to intimidate the people of Ondo State and rig the October 10 governorship poll. It is instructive that he mentioned the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, while threatening to deal with Eyitayo Jegede in Ondo State. All those mentioned in the video, including Yahaya Bello, should be quizzed.
“The verdict of history is clear and if a drop of blood is shed before and during the election, Nigerians should hold Kekemeke, his party and his goons responsible. We invite the security agencies and the international community not to take this threat to unleash mayhem on the good people of Ondo State with levity.”
But Kekemeke, in his reaction, said the statement he made in the viral video was not meant to incite violence.
He said, “The sarcasm and the humour contained in the home-talk have been hyped to achieve political objectives.
“My records in the politics of this state as a militant (aggressive and defiant fighter) are too well known and I am not ashamed of it. I just finished one with Governor Akeredolu.
“For those who are genuinely troubled by the clip, I take it that it is because they believe that the video does not represent me that they know. I apologise to them.
“For governorship candidate Jegede, SAN, he should rest assured that no harm of any sort will come from me to him. I have no intent or capacity to do so.
“I can assure you and others that I remain committed to a non-violent electoral process as I have always done.