The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti state has accused former Governor Ayo Fayose and his men of planning to disrupt this year’s edition of Udiroko festival coming up in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday.
Sam Oluwalana, Senior Special Assistant on Media, Party Matters, to Governor Kayode Fayemi, who doubles as the state APC Director of Media, made the claim in a statement issued on Monday in Ado Ekiti.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Fayose has, however, dismissed the allegation as not only idle and unfounded but also irresponsible, saying that the present administration was only afraid of him.
According to Oluwalana, the party has unearthed plans “by some disgruntled and rejected politicians in the state to cause havoc during the celebration of the annual Udiroko festival in Ado Ekiti this week”.
The politicians, he said, had “failed to garner the people’s support through the ballot and are now trying to achieve this through the back door”.
He stated that part of their antics was to hide under the celebration of the annual festival to cause crisis.
According to him, all these are in an attempt to portray the present administration as not doing enough to protect the citizens.
He said: “We have it on good authority that a former governor of the state wants to hide under the Udiroko festival to launch himself back into the politics of the state, having failed woefully to achieve this through the ballot.
“The former governor and his cohorts, having been traumatised by the gale of unprecedented achievements of the Fayemi-led administration, are now attempting to make a return to the politics of the state through the back door.
“He is aware that his antics, while in the saddle for four years during which he selfishly allocated the wealth of the state to himself and his immediate family, have been exposed.
“We are aware that some of those who served under the former governor are now raining curses on him for depriving them of their entitlements while he was smiling to the bank every month to lodge his loots.”
Oluwalana reminded the people of the state of the “four years of trauma and suffering under the immediate past administration due to non-payment of salaries and retirees’ benefits, thus pauperising them”.
He also urged them not to allow themselves to be used by those he called political marabouts in their quest to portray themselves as friends of the masses.
The party scribe said that security agencies had been alerted and mobilised to ensure a peaceful celebration of the festival, warning that any attempt by any individual or group to foment trouble would be checkmated.
However, while reacting through his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, the former governor described the allegation as concocted and baseless.
He said: “We are not in the habit of dignifying lowlife or people living with guilt of forcing themselves on Ekiti.
“It is obvious that after over a year of manipulating themselves into power, they are still afraid of the shadow of Fayose.
“Rather than jumping up and down, spinning unfounded lies against Fayose who is moving on with life, Fayemi and his agents in APC should concentrate on making life meaningful to the people.
“Fayemi should also endeavour to give Udiroko festival the same level of glamour and attention it enjoyed during the administration of Fayemi instead of looking for a cheap way to gain attention.”