By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Ondo State governorship election has described the attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, to compare himself to the highly revered statesman, late Obafemi Awolowo, as sacrilegious and extremely disrespectful.
The PDP campaign said 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 next Saturday, “as that self-serving governor who failed and betrayed his people when they needed him the most.”
According to the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, “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, 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’.”
The PDP spokesperson explained that Akeredolu should know that Awolowo never made fake promises; never deprived the people of good life, adding that 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.
According to Ologbondiyan, “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, he said Akeredolu should know that Awolowo 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 non-governmental organisation (NGO).
The PDP spokesman further stated that the Ondo State governor 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 with his name.”