The Action Congress of Nigeria has criticised the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Ali Olanusi, for shunning the debate organised for deputy governorship candidates by the Nigerian Election Debate Group.
Olanusi is the incumbent deputy governor of the state, seeking re-election alongside Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party.
The governorship poll is scheduled for October 20.
In a statement by the Publicity Director of the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation, Idowu Ajanaku, on Thursday, the ACN said Olanusi’s absence at the debate was “a sign of contempt for the people of the state.”
The deputy governorship candidates of Peoples Democratic Party, ACN, Progressive Peoples Alliance and the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria participated in the debate in Akure on Wednesday.
The ACN said, “This is clearly an admission of failure by the Labour Party-led government. Paul Akintelure was able to expatiate on the programmes of the ACN.
“We want the residents of this state to join hands with us to build an enduring legacy. The people of the state will exercise their will without succumbing to intimidation.”
However, the Mimiko Campaign Organisation said Olanusi did not attend the debate because of “the unruly conduct of the opposition.”
The MCO explained that unfavourable security reports made the deputy governor to stay away from the venue.
Director of Publicity and Media Relations of the group, Mr. Kolawole Olabisi, said “The deputy governor did not deliberately shun the debate but had to be prevailed upon by the security reports which suggested that the opposition were planning to unleash violence on him.