From TUNDE RAHEEM Akure
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the October 20 poll in Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday averted a free-for-all at his thank-you party in Akure, when a mob descended on an ACN chieftain and former commissioner. He was accused of pocketing millions of naira meant to mobilize ward leaders to facilitate Akeredolu’s victory in the election.
The ruling Labour Party (LP) won the guber poll, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second while ACN trailed behind them. The party chieftain narrowly escaped being lynched by irate party members over allegation that he failed to distribute money and gift-items collected from the leadership of the party.
The ACN members who had converged at the party secretariat along Ilesha Road, Akure for the ceremony organized by Akeredolu, started discussing the chieftain’s issues in groups before the arrival of the party bigwigs, condemning his failure to distribute enough money to all the 18 local government areas despite the huge amount of money he allegedly received from the national leader and other party top shots across the SouthWest. As the aggrieved party faithful discussed, Akeredolu’s convoy entered the venue, Akeredolu and his entourage were welcomed amid pomp and ceremony.
The programme was on the verge of being commenced when the accused party chieftain arrived the venue. As soon as the politician alighted from his car, the atmosphere became charged, they poured inventive on him for contributing to the ACN’s loss, despite the huge financial resources deployed. The development took a dramatic turn when some aggrieved youths started throwing pure water sachets in the direction of the politician, while other chieftains who did not want to be insulted hurriedly left their seats under the pretence of appealing to the mob.
They accused him of collecting over 70 motorcycles to deliver to all ward leaders for onward distribution to the party loyalists across the state, which he kept in his compound, while money running to over a billion naira given to him by the party leadership meant for election mobilization was allegedly not properly shared. As the irate mob were throwing pure water sachets towards his direction, they were also marching towards him, when Akeredolu, who was holding a brief discussion in one of the rooms at the secretariat came out and appealed to the members to calm down.
It took Akeredolu over 20 minutes to pacify the aggrieved members before they could listen to him and later went back to their seats. The accused party leader fled the scene.