As the nation’s political attention shifts to Ondo State for the October 10 governorship election, some candidates in the poll participated in a debate on Thursday evening to share their vision and sell their objectives to the people of the state.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, 17 political parties fielded candidates for the election but analysts have opined that the poll would be a three-horse race amongst the All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Zenith Labour Party.
Five candidates were invited to the debate organised by BBC News Yoruba and its partners but while Dotun Ojon of the Young Progressive Party, Adekunle Adeleye of the African Action Congress; PDP’s Eyitayo Jegede and APC’s Rotimi Akeredolu attended the virtual debate, the ZLP candidate, Agboola Ajayi, was absent at the over two-hour debate.
Ajayi was elected on APC’s platform in 2016 as Akeredolu’s running mate but the deputy governor defected to PDP earlier in the year when he fell apart with his principal. Ajayi later joined the ZLP after he lost out at the PDP governorship primary.
Security, education, health and economy topped agenda at the debate monitored by The PUNCH on Thursday evening.
The YPP candidate criticised the Ondo State Security Network Agency codenamed Operation Amotekun and the law that created it. He argued that “those who started it don’t really understand it.”
Ojon said if elected, he “will create an arm within Amotekun Corps to address the serial kidnapping in the state. The section won’t use weapons but deploy technology to identify security threats per time and transfer the intelligence to the Nigeria Police Force.”
Before now, Akeredolu had inaugurated the Amotekun Corps to tackle kidnapping, banditry, herdsmen attack, amongst other security challenges in the state.
Responding, the governor said the YPP candidate was ignorant of the law that created the Amotekun Corps, noting that intelligence gathering through the use of technology is an integral part of the operations of the security network.
Also, the PDP candidate said if elected, he will build police stations and army barracks in the localities notorious for crime in the state.
The former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state said he will activate the state Anti-Kidnapping Law that stipulates the death penalty for murderers and life imprisonment for kidnappers.
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