The second term inauguration ceremony of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the governor of Ondo State will be attended by only 500 persons due to the prevailing COVID-19 virus, the inauguration committee has said.

The venue of the event, scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, is the International Culture and Event Center, Igbatoro Road, Akure, which ordinarily sits 1,800 persons.

The chairperson of the inauguration committee and deputy governor -elect, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, told journalists in Akure on Friday that the inauguration and all the ancillary activities would be low-key, due to the prevailing economic situation in the state.

Mr Akeredolu was re-elected governor of the state on October 10, 2020, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, defeating the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, and the current Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, who contested on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party.

Mr Akeredolu will take the oath of office next week, despite his re-election being challenged by Mr Jegede.

Mr Jegede is asking the governorship election tribunal to declare him winner and nullify the election of Mr Akeredolu on the grounds that the latter was not validly nominated.

He is also asking the tribunal to consider the pockets of violence that marred the election in several local governments in reaching its decision.

But Mr Akeredolu and his team of counsels have written off the petition against the governor, saying the grounds on which the petition was filed had no substance.

Mr Aiyedatiwa, however, noted that the inauguration would be attended strictly by invitation, saying it is “in order to control crowd and reduce the risks associated with COVID -19.”

“In other words, the venues will be no-go areas for individuals without official invitation cards,” he said.

“For more emphasis, the DOME which sits full capacity of 1,800 guests will now sit 500 for the inauguration while it will accommodate only 400 for the state dinner later in the evening.”

Ondo State has so far recorded confirmed cases, with 57 deaths. Although 725 cases are still active, 2,080 cases have been discharged.

Other events of the inauguration include inauguration lecture, dinner, commissioning of projects, Juma’at and thanksgiving services, among others.

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