Governorship candidates of the People’s Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress, Eyitayo Jegede and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Sunday faced each other at a debate organized by media organisations, labour unions, civil societies, religious bodies and other stakeholders.
Candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) Mr. Agboola Ajayi was absent while candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Peter Fasua was also present at the debate held in Akure,
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ajayi, the deputy governor, defected to ZLP from All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the governorship election.
The moderator, Mr. Akinwumi Abodunde, said four parties were invited for the debate, explaining that only two parties were present at the programme.
“We invited candidates of APC, PDP, SDP and ZLP for this debate and none of the candidates showed any sign that he will not attend as at one hour to the programme.
“But only the candidate of APC and SDP – Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Mr. Peter Fasua- were present at the scheduled time,’’ Abodunde said.
Jegede came came in an hour late.
The moderator grilled the three governorship candidates on leadership, economy, agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, election security and insecurity.
Akeredolu, responding to the questions, denied the allegation of running a family government, saying he ran a transparent government.
The governor said his wife was not a commissioner, neither did any of his children hold a post in his government.
Instead, he said his wife “has been helping the women of Ondo State through the “BRECAN Initiative.”
“Let anybody that has evidence that anyone of my family is a consultant in the government come out.
“We will sue anyone that lies against my family,’’ he said.
Akeredolu urged his supporters to shun any act of violence during the governorship election scheduled for Saturday.
Jegede, the PDP candidate, promised to run a transparent government if elected, cautioning his supporters against violence during the election.
“There is nothing to be gained by violence, which is why I make sure I report to the police when such happens.
“This state must have respect for peace and order.
“I plead with our young men not to go near violence, and our leaders must discourage violence,’’ Jegede said.
Mr. Peter Fasua, the SDP candidate, enjoined youths not to die for any politician in the name of an election.
“Anybody that dies while perpetrating violence has lost his life for nothing.
“Please don’t waste your life for anyone during this election period.
“We, the candidates, are always with our security and are safe.
“Don’t allow yourselves to be used for violence,’’ Fasua said.