The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede, and his All Progressives Congress counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, exchanged banters at their last debate ahead of the Ondo State governorship election.
The election, which is expected to hold on Saturday, has 17 political parties participating, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Ondo State Governorship debate was put together by Channels Television, in partnership with the Civil Society Elections Situation Room and UK AID with support from the UK foreign commonwealth development office.
The banter started when the moderator asked the candidates to ask each other a question.
Jegede, who expressed surprise at the opportunity to ask Akeredolu a question, enquired from Akeredolu whether he would reduce the tuition of Ondo university students.
Akeredolu said he was not prepared to reduce the tuition fees, noting that the state was biting off more than it could chew by owning three universities.
“The state cannot reduce tuition fees, I am not prepared to do it. Students should have a proper education. That is why Adekunle Ajasin university is the best state university in the country,” the governor replied.
On his part, Akeredolu asked Jegede, “Tayo, you have toured around this state and I want you to be honest, have you not seen the impact of good governance in terms of infrastructure and industrialisation?”
The PDP candidate replied, “Unfortunately, I have not seen much. I have not seen the infrastructure in Ilaje, Ese Odo, Irele…”
Akeredolu interjected, “Maybe in Akure”, Jegede replied, “I have not seen enough in Akure. All I can tell you is that I will do more than you, sir.”
The governor reacted, “In your government, did you do that at all?” They both laughed and Jegede added, “you said I should be honest”.
“You said you have not seen but I have pointed out to you in Ikare, Akure – where you are. Tayo, what I am saying is this, in your own time, the road leading to your house was not tiled. I tiled it for you. I tried a lot,” Akeredolu said.
Reacting, Jegede said, “that road was tiled because your Special Adviser on Infrastructure lives there”.
“That road was tiled because of you. But you also lived there while in government. I tiled that road for you,” Akeredolu replied jokingly as both candidates subsequently bumped elbows.
Speaking on why he should be voted as the governor of the state come Saturday, Jegede noted that he has both private and public sectors experience which makes him stand out from all other candidates.
On his part, Akeredolu said the major focus of his second term administration will be to re-direct the state towards a zero-oil economy.