Ondo monarch denies snatching ballot boxes

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The  Olugbo of Ugbo-Ilaje in the oil-rich riverside area of Ondo state, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, has denied allegations linking him with incidents of ballot-box  snatching and intimidation of voters during the conduct of the State Assembly election held on Saturday.

The monarch, who is the Chairman of Obat Oil and Petroleum, was allegedly linked with acts of brigandage by some political hoodlums, who were said to be moving from one voting unit to the other, disrupting peaceful voting and carting away ballot boxes to unknown destinations.

The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, had, in a statement on Saturday,  alleged that the Olugbo was instrumental to the mayhem that allegedly engulfed the coastal area of the state while voting was going on.

Muhammed had said the Olugbo allegedly got involved because on of his son was a candidate for the State House of Assembly on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party and that the monarch allegedly engaged the services of hoodlums.

But the first class traditional ruler,  whose son, Abayomi, also contested the parliamentary election in the Ilaje Constituency 1 on the platform of the PDP, issued a statement on Sunday, denying all the allegations.

The Olugbo specifically, said he was in no way connected to any acts of hooliganism in the local council and that he was amazed by the linkage of his name to the incidents.

He said, “I am hearing these allegations for the first time and it amazed me that some people would link my person with such acts.

“For the avoidance of doubts, I am in my palace at Ode-Ugbo. I am a traditional ruler and the paramount king of my people; so there is no way I could be involved in partisan political affairs as the father to all.

“Whoever that is spreading rumours of the involvement of the Olugbo palace in this is a very wicked person.”

He noted that the fact that his son was a candidate in the election, was “not enough for anybody, who comes from a place where they have a monarch, to trample on the integrity of the Olugbo, a throne that had existed for centuries.”

He said, “The Olugbo is not a politician and there is no politics on the Ugbo throne. Politicians should mind the kind of statement they make when they do their politicking and henceforth desist from dragging respectable institutions into the mud.”


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