The candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, in the just concluded governorship election in Ondo State, Olusola Oke, on Monday congratulated the winner of the election, Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress.
He, however, decried the “heavy monetization” of the election held on Saturday.
Mr. Oke came a distant third at the election with 126, 889 votes, winning only two local government areas, Ilaje and Okitipupa.
In a statement made available to journalists in Akure, Mr. Oke commended both the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agents deployed to the state for their fairness in the handling of their duties.
According to him, alleged open and free use of money to purchase votes by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the APC blighted the process.
He said the ugly development required the urgent intervention of government if the much publicized anti-corruption agenda of the Federal Government would make any meaning to Nigerians.
“In the last seven years, the policy direction of the government of the day (in Ondo State) has resulted in the growth and circulation of poverty to our people,” he said.
“The resultant effect is the debilitating poverty that had made the people so vulnerable.
“Therefore, trading away dignity in the face of excruciating hunger during electioneering process requires little or no considerations for morals and values that defined us as a people.
“Offer of money for votes is worse than looting the government treasury. Apart from compromising the dignity of the people, it provides a fertile training ground for future looters of government treasury.
“The consequence of it is to render the anti-corruption fight a farce. There may be no economic matter more urgent, difficult to unravel and more sensitive to the pursuit of the average person in Ondo State than the current indignity foisted on the people by poverty orchestrated by maladministration and priority misplacement by the current administration.”
He expressed the hope that the incoming administration would address the problem of poverty so that the integrity of the electoral process would be restored.
Mr. Oke, who recalled the event leading to his movement to the AD, said it was necessitated by the need for them to shun the “in-built perfidy and organized deception” in APC as revealed during its primary election.
“We moved to AD less than six weeks before the gubernatorial election. We knew it was a big challenge and the greatest challenge was time. But we were determined in the pursuit of our dream,” he explained.
He assured that as members of the opposition, the AD would continue to contribute to the process of governance and would not hesitate to point, in a civilized manner, the attention of the incoming government to any area where the masses seem not to have been considered in the policy framework of governance.
But the APC has denied that it was involved in vote buying during the election, accusing the PDP and others of spreading the report.
Steve Otaloro, the Publicity Director of the party in Ondo State, said those alleging that it bought votes should prove their allegations against the party.