Ondo State Deputy Governor and governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi, has accused Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of denying him access to the MKO Abiola Democracy Park for the use of his campaign flag-off.
It was the venue used by the PDP to flag off its rallies last Saturday.
Agboola who spoke through his Media Adviser, Allen Sowore, said he was drawing attention of the public to what he termed growing intolerance and undemocratic temperament of Governor Akeredolu towards the ZLP.
Agboola explained that the ZLP applied for the usage of the Democracy Park to flag off its campaign rally and after completion of all due processes, the fee was hiked from N5m to N11m.
He said the PDP paid N5m to use the venue for its rally last Saturday.
The Deputy Governor said the ZLP was prepared to pay the N11m as charged but the official in charge disappeared and it became clear that Governor Akeredolu was out to frustrate the ZLP
According to him, “This is a condemnable act. It 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.”
But Governor Akeredolu, who spoke through the Ondo Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, said the futile attempt to drag him into arena of frustrations suffered by the ZLP was unacceptable.
Akeredolu said the Democracy Park was no longer under the control of the State Government saying it was a consultant that now manages the facility.
“The recourse to blackmail is a deliberate blackmail venture aimed diverting the attention of the people from proper public scrutiny of those who have chosen to throw their hats in the ring.
“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,”
It was gathered that the ZLP flag off has been shifted to hold on Saturday, 19 at Ore, headquarters of Odigbo local Government area of the state.