Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has called on security agencies to investigate the former Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde, over the allegations that the 2016 governorship election in Ondo State was manipulated in his favour.
Abegunde had on Monday during a radio programme on Crest 87.7 FM in Akure alleged that Governor Akeredolu didn’t win the 2016 poll but the results were manipulated in his favour.
Akeredolu in a statement on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, said the allegations of the former Ondo SSG showed a semblance of sustained recycling of falsehood and blackmail targeted towards him and his immediate family.
He also described the allegations as “pernicious lies” that must be investigated thoroughly.
The governor said, “It is, however, imperative to draw the attention of the country’s security agencies to a particular outburst wherein the former SSG confessed to have participated in electoral fraud in 2016.
“Mr Governor, as an avid believer in democracy, rule of law and legality is not a beneficiary of the fraud Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde and his unnamed cohorts allegedly perpetrated during the 2016 governorship election. He would not encourage such; not even in the coming election.
“Ordinarily, the former SSG’s vituperations which have come under heavy criticisms are assuaging. This is even as the voluntary dispatch of his shortcomings and emotional distress are enough to attract empathy.
“Nevertheless, Abegunde’s outbursts are weighty confessions that must be investigated by security agencies. Anything to the contrary will not only encourage future acts as contained in the confessions. Such brazen anti-democratic acts are unambiguously, grave dangers to our fledgling electoral system.
“This is more so that Abegunde after his confessions on a live broadcast programme continues to remain a political participant in the state. He is a potent danger to democracy.”
Earlier, a group, Democracy for Justice, called on the police to investigate the allegations and initiate criminal proceedings.
In a statement on Tuesday, Secretary of the group, Waheed Mohammed, said Governor Akeredolu must resign from office to enable the police to carry out investigations into the allegation by the former SSG.
“For the former SSG to come out now after long enjoying the rewards of an unearned mandate is very unfortunate.
“Agboola Ajayi, Akeredolu’s deputy, who has now joined PDP should also be bold enough to state what he knows about the saga.
“They are only crying out now because they fell out with their boss.
“The international community must beam a searchlight on Nigeria’s democracy. APC is dragging the country’s democracy over the precipice.
“A situation where the people will vote and their votes would not count is unjust.”
Spokesperson for the police in Ondo State, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, said the police can only act on the allegations made by SSG if it received a petition over the issue.
He said, “The police are apolitical and we must do our job professionally so we can’t just swing into action and make arrest or investigate without a petition.
“If anyone feels that what the SSG has said are weighty allegations, then let them write us a petition to investigate the allegation.”