The Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, was absent at the state’s governorship debate held on Sunday in Akure.
The debate, titled: “2020 Ondo Governorship Election: Face the Voters” was organised by media organisations, labour unions, civil society groups, religious bodies and other critical stakeholders in the state.
Agboola is the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) candidate in next Saturday’s election in the state.
The moderator, Mr. Akinwumi Abodunde, said four political parties were invited for the debate.
He, however, added that only two parties were present at the programme.
Abodunde said: “We invited candidate of APC, PDP, SDP and ZLP for this debate and none of the candidates showed any sign that he will not attend as at one hour to the programme.
“But only the candidate of APC and SDP – Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Mr. Peter Fasua respectively were present at the scheduled time.”
However, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, came an hour behind the scheduled time.
The moderator grilled the three governorship candidates on leadership, economy, agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, election security and insecurity.
Akeredolu, while responding to the questions, denied the allegation that he ran a family government, saying he ran a transparent administration.
The governor said his wife was not a commissioner, neither did any of his children hold a post in his government.
He said: “Let anybody that has evidence that anyone in my family is a consultant in the government come out.
“We will sue anyone that lies against my family.”
He, therefore, urged his supporters to shun any act of violence during the election.
On his part, the PDP candidate promised to run a transparent government if elected and cautioned his supporters against violence during the election.
“There is nothing to be gained in violence which is why I make sure I report to the police when such happens.
“This state must have respect for peace and order.
“I plead with our young men not to go near violence, and our leaders must discourage violence,’’ Jegede said.
Fasua also urged the youths not to die for any politician in the name of an election.
“Anybody that dies while perpetrating violence has lost his life for nothing.
“Please don’t waste your life for anyone during this election period.
“We, the candidates, are always with our security and are safe.
“Don’t allow yourselves to be used for violence,’’ he admonished the youths.