By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
Ondo State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has been accused of distributing money during Saturday’s House of Representatives bye-election in Akure South/North Federal Constituency of the state.
This action of the number two man in the state caused tension at St. Paul Primary School, Oba Ile, ward 9, unit 3, in Akure North Local Government Area.
Voters mobilised themselves to prevent hoodlums from snatching ballot boxes in the unit unlike at Ayede community at Iju/Itaogbolu area where ballot boxes were destroyed and smatched by some political thugs
Some voters accused the deputy governor of interfering with the election process saying he had no business with the election as he hails from the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
Aiyedatiwa, who was sighted 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.
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 woman who was not happy with the scenario said everything must be done accordingly and that they would not allow anybody to snatch any ballot box.
”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,” she said.
Another voter, who gave his name as Taye Adeyemi said: “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 at Oba ile when he is not from here.”
The deputy governor was seeing in a black Mercedes Benz G Wagon parked outside the venue of the election and this created tension among voters.
Adeyemi added: “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.”
But Aiyedatiwa denied the allegation, saying he never moved outside his residential area during the election.
He 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, 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, when Westernpost made a call to him to affirm the presence of the deputy governor.
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.
“I have spoken with other journalists on this issue and made them understand the real picture of the story. 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.
“The process has been peaceful and orderly. The security agents and INEC officials are cooperating with the people.”