By Jacob Akintunde, Akure
No fewer than hundred electorate from Ondo West and Ondo East local government areas of the State, have demanded for the cancellation of the results of the just concluded Assembly polls.
The protesters who barricaded the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure for hours to show their grievances rejected the victory of APC and ZLP in the three state constituencies in the two local government areas in Ondo kingdom for alleged over voting, non-use of card reader machines, harassment of voters and other electoral irregularities.
While addressing journalists, Chief Segun Adegoke who led the protest noted that the election witnessed widespread violence and intimidation across the two councils in Ondo Kingdom.
Adegoke however called for the cancellation of the election based on the intimidation and harassment of voters among others.
He lamented that some persons in the Kingdom breached the peace accord and efforts put in place by the Osemawe-in-Council to ensure the election was violence-free.
According to him, the plan to rig the election in Ondo Kingdom was carefully planned on Sunday March 3, 2019 and thugs were used to intimidate voters in Ward 1, units 4,5,9,10 and 11. He noted that the whole of Ondo West was marred with irregularities.
Adegoke disclosed that the state governor, Dr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, whose party was defeated massively in the Presidential and National Assembly election, sought the assistance of the Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to subvert the wishes of the people.
“The confusion and quagmire in which Akeredolu found himself pushed him to a point of desperation that he wanted to win the majority of seats in the state House of Assembly election to avoid impeachment.
“He called series of meetings: the NURTW, the iyalojas, the artisans etc and gave them money begging them to vote for his party. He promised to do all kinds of things should his party wins.”
“It is crystal clear that the pride of the former governor was badly wounded and dented. So it is easy to find solace in the predicament of Rotimi Akeredolu.
“It is on this note that the brigandage, daylight robbery, oppression and intimidation, harassment and traumatization of the people of Ondo Kingdom was hatched.”
It would be recalled that the APC won Ondo East and Ondo West Constituency 2 seats in the Assembly while the ZLP candidate won Ondo West Constituency 1 seat.
But Adegoke revealed that the “collaboration between ZLP and APC to balkanize Ondo Kingdom” was that “ZLP agreed not to support its candidate In Ondo East State Constituency conceding it to the APC.
“APC in return decided to concede Constituency 1 in Ondo West to the ZLP and ZLP in return conceded Constituency II in Ondo West to APC. Therefore it is imperative that supporters of other parties must be obstructed from voting.
“It is disheartening that young thugs, armed with guns and knives and all sorts of dangerous weapons, scared away the electorate from their various polling units.”
The protester said their candidates would approach election petition tribunal if INEC refused to address their grievances on time.
Reacting, Chief Wale Gbakinro, Ondo state Chairman of the ZLP, and Mr Alex Kalejaye, the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, described the allegations of the protesters as unfounded
Gbekinro said, “we advise them to stop the mischievous tendencies and approach the court of competent jurisdiction to seek legal redress if they genuinely have any case. Our party is focused on delivering on our campaign promises and our goal is continue to raise Ondo state to an enviable height as we have always done”.
In a statement, Kalejaye noted that, “We also encourage the PDP to grow up and quit the realm of bad losers. They should learn to accept defeat without sulking; and support the sincere efforts by the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led government to enhance a solid economic growth in the State”.