Arakunrin @RotimiAkeredolu criticised for saying ‘Akure won’t produce next governor’

YEMIE FASH

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Arakunrin @RotimiAkeredolu criticised for saying ‘Akure won’t produce next governor’

The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has come under fire after he said Akure town will not produce the next governor in 2020.

His comments attracted a number of criticisms, with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leading the pack.

Mr Akeredolu, at an event in Akure on Sunday, said he would rather support a candidate for a ministerial slot for the people of Akure, instead of a governorship candidate from there.

Nigerian governors usually play a major role in the emergence of their successors.

The statement had been construed by many stakeholders in Ondo politics that he had foreclosed any persons emerging as governor from the area.

The governor is gearing to run for a second term in office in an election which would hold in 2020.

The PDP, whose governorship candidate in the last election, Eyitayo Jegede, hails from Akure, said the governor’s comments were offensive and unwarranted.

The party’s Publicity Director, Zadok Akintoye, in a statement, said the governor’s statement was “putrid and highly condemnable and an attempt to pitch the people against each other for electoral gain.”

PDP said its understanding of the comment is that the governor kicked against Akure producing the next governor of the state, and that it was not yet the turn of the Akure people to do so.

“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,” the statement said.

“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.”

The PDP also accused the governor of attempting to disunite the people using his ambition to become governor for a second term.

Also, Akure Reform Ambassadors, (ARA) also lambasted the governor for the statement.

A statement by the goup’s Director of Publicity, Joshua Oluwadare, described Mr Akeredolu’s comment as unfortunate.

“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,” the group said.

“That Arakunrin 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.

“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.”

“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.”

But the governor, while reacting to the criticism on Wednesday, said his comments were “twisted” and “blown out of proportion.”

“Governor Akeredolu who spoke at a reception organised in honour of a senator, Omotayo Alasoadura, said he only declared his administration’s readiness to support an Akure indigene as a minister from Ondo State,” a statement by the Akeredolu Media Organisation, said.

“The Governor, spoke further by saying, though jokingly, that although his administration will support an Akure indigene as a minister but Owo will complete its tenure as Governor.

“It’s no longer news that Governor Akeredolu has shown so much commitment to the development of Akure land both in human and capital resources. 

“Although, the ministerial selection is in the purview of the Presidency, but, Governor Akeredolu as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and leader of the party in the state, reserves the right to support any strong member of the party in the state irrespective of where he hails from.

“We, however, urge the people of the state to always disregard this baseless stories that are only targeted at heating up the polity and also distract a performing governor.”

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