Ondo bye-election: Deputy Governor accused of sharing money at polling unit

 

The House of Representatives bye-election in Akure South/North Federal Constituency of Ondo State that was held on Saturday witnessed a turnout of voters, just as some voters in some units accused the state Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, of distributing money during the election.

The development caused tension at St. Paul Primary School Oba Ile, ward 9, unit 3, in Akure North Local Government Area, as voters mobilised themselves to prevent hoodlums from snatching the ballot boxes in this unit.

The voters alleged Aiyedatiwa of interfering with the election process saying the Deputy Governor who hailed from the Southern Senatorial district of the state had no business in the election.

The Deputy Governor who was spotted at the venue of the election for some 25 minutes left after discussing with some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ward.

The voters, however, alleged that some leaders of the APC mobilised some hoodlums who were planning to snatch the ballot boxes while the voters also mobilised to resist the attempt.

One of the voters, a female who was obviously furious at the development, said they would not allow anybody to snatch any ballot box, saying, ” We saw him ( deputy governor) he came to share money, let them share any amount, he would fail. This is PDP unit, we won’t allow them to snatch any ballot box.”

Another voter alleged that “they started enticing voters with money immediately Aiyedatiwa left and when we rejected it, they planned to snatch the boxes. We don’t know the business of the Deputy Governor in our centre.

“He was here in a black Mercedes Benz G Wagon parked outside the venue of the election and this created tension among voters. We will resist any attempt to manipulate the result of the election in this unit. Let him go to any other ward, but not here,” he said.

But Aiyedatiwa denied the allegation, saying he never moved outside his residential area and said “It is not true. How can I go around distributing money? What is my own with that? Anyone that says so should bring evidence where they saw me distributing money. I live outside government house. I live among the people, so I don’t live in a government house for now. So if anybody says they see me, maybe around my area. I don’t understand what they are saying.”

However, the former Commissioner of works in the state, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, confirmed the Deputy Governor’s presence at the unit but said he was only there to monitor the election.

Yusuf- Ogunleye said, “Yes he was here, this is not his ward, he is from the south. But as a Senior citizen, he came to monitor the situation. How can he be distributing money? He only came here to ask me questions and I told him that the election had been peaceful.

“The allegation that APC tried to snatch ballot is not true. Those making the claim were only insinuating. Are they afraid? It is a free and fair election; we will not create any crisis,” he said.

He, however, said “The process has been peaceful and orderly. The security agents and INEC officials are cooperating with the people.”

(Nigerian Tribune)

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About Jare Tiamiyu

A political and sport analyst, public speaker, writer, printer and online personnel. A development advocate with greater interest in SDGs goal 4 and 16.
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