Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede has warned those plotting to rig the October 10 governorship election in the state to jettison such an idea because the people would resist them.
Jegede, a second-timer in the governorship race, gave the note of caution while featuring on a live programme on a private radio station in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
He said that a recent revelation by the former Secretary to the Ondo State Government (SSG), Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, that Jegede was robbed of victory by the All Progressives Congress (APC) power brokers, and that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu did not win in that election, was instructive enough.
Abegunde had resigned from Akeredolu’s government in protest, shortly after the state’s deputy governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, also defected from the APC to the PDP.
Warning that the masses of Ondo State would not allow a repeat of the 2016 experience, Jegede said, “Ondo State is not a conquered people or territory; so if you are coming to the state to rig, stop at the boundary.
“This is because, our people have learned from that experience and are now on their toes, to resist any attempt by anybody to subvert their will.
“I have known Abegunde for a long time and I know he was saying the truth when he said Akeredolu did not win the 2016 election; that it was rigged for him,” he stated.
Jegede also described as baseless, a smear campaign that he would pursue ‘Akure agenda’, being a native of Akure, the state capital, if voted into power.
His words: “Yes, I am a native of Akure and I am not ashamed of it, but I can also be classified as a native of other communities in the state.
“I had gone round, visiting the riverine areas of Ilaje and Ese-Odo and I could feel what they are going through. From that area up to Ile-Oluji and Okeigbo, they don’t have electricity at all unlike Akure that has a little supply.
“So, we are going to provide electricity in these areas and also build them hospitals as they lack medical facilities and are battling with mosquito bites. Certainly, that cannot be an Akure agenda.
“I have been to Akoko area to Okitipupa and all parts of the state and I know what their problems are,” he added.
The governorship candidate, who is a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General in the state, particularly lamented the hardship that the less-privileged residents of the state are going through under the APC-led administration.
He said: “the free health services reserved for pregnant women, nursing mothers, elderly citizens and the physically challenged people under the PDP administration are no longer there.
“Our education sector too is in shambles, to the extent that, tuition fee of N35,000 in the institution is now N230,000, thus denying children of poor people access to education.
“If I am elected governor of Ondo State, we will reduce the tuition of not just Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, but all tertiary institutions in the state,” Jegede assured.