The Peoples Democratic Party National Campaign Council for Ondo State Governorship Election has described the attempt by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the election, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who it described as a failed governor, to compare himself to the highly revered statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as sacrilegious, profane and extremely disrespectful.
The PDP said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday.
It said: “The PDP campaign asserted that Governor Akeredolu can never and will never be remembered like Chief Awolowo, the great national leading light, but will be remembered, after his defeat at the poll on Saturday, as that self serving governor who failed and betrayed his people when they needed him the most.
“Governor Akeredolu’s pathetic attempt to use the name of Awolowo to beguile the Ondo people is indeed the highest desecration of the name and memory of the late patriot, who represents light, progressivism, development, welfarism, unity and social uprightness, which are manifestly lacking in Akeredolu’s brand of politics.
“Of course, Governor Akeredolu is at best the opposite of Awolowo. Awolowo built schools, Akeredolu ran them down; Awolowo granted free education, Akeredolu increased school fees by more than 100 percent, Awolowo empowered the people, Akeredolu deprived and impoverished them, Awolowo built infrastructure and grew the economy, Akeredolu entrenched corruption and wrecked the economy of his state.
“Awolowo believed in, cared for and respected the people but Akeredolu, in his arrogance, exposed his disdain for the people by declaring them his “enemies for life”.
“Akeredolu should know that Awolowo never made fake promises; never deprived the people. Awolowo’s brand of politics was not about deception, highhandedness and recourse to violence as being witnessed in the Akeredolu regime. Rather, Awo made the good of the people the symbol and focus of his politics.
“Of course, Awolowo was never a ‘political terrorist’ and never assembled a battalion of thugs to kill and maim his people. Awo never bred and armed thugs like Isaac Kekemeke and Idajo to unleash mayhem, attack political opponents and seek to disrupt elections.
“Furthermore, Akeredolu should know that Awo would never had allowed the diversion of COVID-19 intervention funds meant for the welfare of the people, for which he had refused to give account but referred his people to an Abuja based NGO.
“Akeredolu should know that his pathetic recourse to mouthing of fake progressivism cannot earn him even the littlest of reverence accorded to Awolowo’s statue and history can never be kind to him for attempting to beguile the people.
“Moreover, Akeredolu’s promise to perform if reelected is a direct admission that he wasted the opportunity given to him in the last four years, for which the people have reached a consensus to replace him with our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede on Saturday.
“Our campaign therefore counsels Governor Akeredolu to respect the wish of the people and accept their decision to replace him with Eyitayo Jegede, instead of this desperate recourse to violence and sacrilegious reference to the revered memory of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“The PDP National campaign demands that Governor Akeredolu withdraws his blasphemous comparison with Awo and apologize to the Ondo people, the South West zone and Nigerians at large.”