“If the state government fails to accede to our request, we will have no option than to use any major road in the state capital as campaign ground.”
Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government of Kayode Fayemi is plotting to frustrate its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by depriving the party of a venue to hold its rally next Monday.
State PDP Chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase, who addressed the media in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, claimed Fayemi’s refusal to release ‘Oluyemi Kayode Stadium venue, in Ado Ekiti, for the rally, amounted to “politics of bitterness carried too far.
Oguntuase said the action again attested to widespread fear by the opposition party that the APC is desperate to rig the poll and subvert the will of the populace in the forthcoming elections.
The government had in its reply to the PDP’s earlier request for use of the stadium, said the stadium is under reconstruction which prevented it from human and vehicular movement “at this time.”
The letter, issued last Tuesday, was signed by the Director, Administration and Supplies, Ekiti Sate Sports Council, on behalf of the General Manager, Mr. P.A. Akinola.
“I have been directed to refer to your letter received on January 2 requesting the use of Oluyemi Kayode Stadium for your presidential campaign.
“However, there was need to let you know that the stadium is under repair in preparation for the next football season and wetting. The tracks need to be prevented from vehicular movement and for this reason, we decline the use of this facility.”
The PDP chairman said it was wrong for the government to have waited this long before replying the letter, and said this further corroborated the party’s fear that the APC is out to truncate the rally.
“This is disrespect to the PDP and the person of Alhaji Atiku. If the state government fails to accede to our request, we will have no option than to use any major road in the state capital as campaign ground.
“Atiku, the next President can’t be stopped by any political juvenile.
“If you look at the violent inclination of the party in Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Lagos and others, you will see that the APC is hopeless and helpless and it has no respect for human lives.
“We call on the Federal Government to prevail on governor Fayemi to allow us hold the presidential rally in that stadium. Atiku, as a Nigerian, is free to seek the votes of Ekiti voters and it will be wrong for anyone to stop him under any guise.”
However, Fayemi has described the allegation as misdirected and spurious.
The governor said the civil servants only replied the letter based on the prevailing situation and that he never influenced their opinions in the matter.
Fayemi, who reacted through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications, Segun Dipe, said: “When we came on board, virtually all the facilities are in a state of disrepair.
“The Ikogosi warm spring, the Fountain Hotel and this stadium were among them.
“As a responsible government, we must take steps to put them back to normal shape and Fayemi won’t take any step that would infringe on the right of anyone as a democrat.
“The PDP didn’t even request for the facility through the governor and it was wrong for them to have blamed him in the first instance,” he stated.
The governor reiterated that the state government is ready to provide an alternative venue if the party makes a formal request in that regard.