Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredelu has called for the investigation of the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde, over the election rigging slur he made.
Abegunde last Monday excused himself from Akeredolu’s cabinet in one of the fallouts of the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, APC, among the others is the defection of the deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, where he is seeking to fly the party ticket in the forthcoming governorship election scheduled for October 10, in the state.
Appearing on a radio programme on Crest 87.7m, the ex-SSG lambasted the governor saying to the effect that he and some unnamed persons and the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, rigged him into office in the 2016 election.
“It was through the powers from me and other APC pillars that made INEC declare Akeredolu as governor after he had lost the election.
“So, Akeredolu didn’t win the Ondo governorship election in 2016 but we made it possible for him to become governor.
“We were the pillars behind him and we will not support him again. He will lose this time around,” the ex-SSG said.
His slur has drawn the comment of Akeredolu, who in a statement his Chief Press Segun Ajiboye, released denied complicity in the said rigging.
The governor also called on the police authorities to launch investigation into the allegation so as to discourage such action(s) in the future.
The statement reads in part: “Mr Governor, as an avid believer in democracy, rule of Law and legality, is not a beneficiary of fraud.
“Ordinarily, the former SSG’s vituperations which have come under heavy criticisms are assuaging. This is even as the voluntary dispatch of his shortcomings and emotional distress are enough to attract empathy.
“Nevertheless, Abegunde’s outbursts are weighty confessions that must be investigated by security agencies. Anything to the contrary will not only encourage future acts as contained in the confessions. Such brazen anti-democratic acts are unambiguously, grave dangers to our fledgling electoral system”.
In response to the governor’s call, Abegunde said he did not accuse him of electoral rigging.
He said: “I wish to reiterate that at no time did I say that the PDP won the 2016 election. That’s far from the truth. The APC won with a wide margin so that the PDP thought it fruitless to join issues on it at the court of law.
“However, I only stressed that it was a steady and concerted efforts of our loyal party stalwarts of which I was prominent that won that election.
“I said Governor Akeredolu was not the one that won the election, that we the people won the election for him. That we contributed all our efforts. At the end of the day, he thought it wise, thinking that he owns the government. And he’s now using the government for himself, his family and his associates.”