The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Friday warned his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, to steer clear of the October 10 governorship election in the state.
The Rivers governor had accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of making subtle moves to manipulate the Ondo governorship election.
Wike, who appeared on a Channels Television Sunrise Daily programme earlier on Friday, alleged that the ruling party was desperate not to lose Ondo State to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like it did with Edo State.
He also declared that PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, would win the election convincingly.
He said: “While the people of Edo fought godfatherism, Ondo people would respond to several unfulfilled promises made to them by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The national leadership of APC is not happy that they lost Edo to PDP and would do everything possible not to lose Ondo State.
“Having lost Edo, APC will do everything possible not to lose Ondo because they know that will mean the end of the party.
“I fear that INEC and the security agencies may succumb to pressure. But I pray they resist the temptations and pressure and continue to defend democracy.”
However, in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogor, Akeredolu said there would not be any room for Wike to influence the Ondo election.
He said: “In all aspects, Governor Wike deserves respect not just as governor but as a critical stakeholder in the democratic journey. He has his inalienable rights as a citizen to express his mind and make comments about whatever he feels strongly about.
“However, what amuses us is his imperious attitude and recourse to spurious allegations just because of an election. He should know that the people of the Ondo State who have a history of rejecting external influence and domination, will resist his attempt to play the role of a godfather in Ondo State. Ondo is not Rivers.
“The man ought to know that utterances of public office holders must be measured and their delivery ought to be in line with the mood of the people. The people of the state will resist Wike here even if he had roared elsewhere successfully. For emphasis, his imperialistic approach is most unfortunate and very unbecoming.”
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