By Lateef Ibrahim
The state collation agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Debo Ologunagba, has described the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the concluded Ondo governorship as one procured through the “weaponisation of poverty,” against the masses of the state.
Ologunagba, who spoke shortly after the declaration of the results on Sunday, said there was massive incidences of vote-buying as the ruling APC took advantage of the poverty level of the citizens to perpetuate itself in power.
“It is unfortunate the governments we have both at the state and the federal levels have weaponised poverty, it is almost becoming a weapon of mass destruction,” he said.
“They have destroyed the consciousness and the ability of the people to reason positively. That is what you saw and witnessed in the distribution and purchase of votes. They targeted the poor with N2000, N3000 and they fell for it because they are poor”, according to him.
He also said he had reservations on the conduct of the election in areas where there was violence, where INEC and security officials refused to act appropriately.
“It seemed to me that there was a collusion between some INEC officials and security agencies to create that problem,” Ologunagba added.
He however commended INEC in the area of deployment of materials and coordination of the process generally.
He said it was too early determine whether the party would challenge the results at the tribunal until the details of the results were carefully studied.
But the APC agents, Victor Olabintan, a former Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, said the election was peaceful and free of violence.
He said Ondo citizens spoke unequivocally with their votes to re-elect Rotimi Akeredolu for the next four years.
“I can assure you that Ondo State will witness more development in the next four years.
“The people have voted for prosperity and development, they have voted for an honest and committed governor who will not take their votes for granted”, he said.
He also appealed to the other contestants to cooperate with Akeredolu to ensure meaningful development in the coming years of the new administration.