The national leadership of the PDP also congratulated Mimiko on his re-election even as it commended the people of Ondo State for The national leadership of the PDP also congratulated Mimiko on his re-election even as it commended the people of Ondo State for what it termed their emphatic rejection of tribalism and narrow political adventurism which it stressed were the hallmark of the campaign of the ACN.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, nevertheless, hailed its candidate, Oke for his courage, determination and doggedness, adding, “though the PDP was not declared the winner of the election, the Party was happy with the performance of its candidate “who obviously joined the race late.”
Children trooped to the Government House in jubilation as Mimiko was declared winner of the poll. Photo by Dare Fasube
“How better do Nigerians say no to the drumbeats of tribalism and political narrowness than what the people of Ondo have just done with their votes? “It is a quantum forward leap for those who understand the dangers of undue manipulation of national diversity for narrow political whims and a huge set back, utter rejection for the champions of ethnic politics.
“While we commend, Chief Olusola Oke, his running mate, members and supporters of our party, we wish to also congratulate Chief Olusegun Mimiko on his victory.
“Another lesson is here for the nation, especially the opposition political parties to draw from the commitment of our great Party to the full entrenchment of the legacy of free, fair and credible polls. Ostensible is the manifest unwavering devotion of President Goodluck Jonathan to the cause of democracy. He led the campaign of our Party to Ondo and promised free and fair election. He has once more delivered.”
Also hailing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the polls, the PDP however urged “them to learn from any observed loopholes so as to continue improving in future elections.”
We are still studying the situation — ACN
The national leadership of the ACN on its part stopped short of congratulating Mimiko as it noted that it was still studying the results of the election which it claimed was marked with several irregularities.
A statement issued by the national chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande yesterday declared:
“All politicians worthy of their salt must always expect victory or defeat. We recognize that it is the sovereign right of the people to decide what kind of government they want. This is the challenge of democracy. Our party believes that there was and still is need for change in Ondo State. Thus, our party will study carefully the general details of the results with a view to taking a final position.
“Our party has always been and remains proud of our candidate, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and this election has reinforced our confidence in his ability to lead and stimulate life back into the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ondo State. Through him, our party will continue to express gratitude to the leadership and general members of our party and to the electorate of Ondo State in general. We are glad that they performed that brilliantly in spite of many challenges, glaring lapses in the system and institutional inefficiency in the conduct of Ondo state governorship election.
“I must congratulate our teeming members in Ondo state for their hard work at resuscitating the party and putting it in a position of reckoning in such a short time.
“Our party will continue this post mortem analysis of the lapses in all the institutions involved in the conduct of the Ondo election.”
The PDP candidate, Oke, however, differed with the national party in his assessment of the election which he described as heavily flawed.
Speaking through the Director General of the Olusola Oke/Saka Lawal Campaign Organisation, Dr. Dare Bada at a press conference in Akure yesterday, he accused INEC of undersupplying his strongholds of election materials.
He alleged that there was concentration of troops and heavy security presence in urban centres thereby leaving the rural areas unprotected, saying this gave room for malpractices in the rural areas.
“It is regrettable, shameful and disgraceful to our country. It is and will remain unacceptable to us as a political party and as stakeholders.
“Accordingly, we reject it and call for a total overhauling of the office of INEC in Ondo state as well as the State Command of the SSS, Police and the entire Army and Naval operations in the state”.
The Centre for Human Rights and Ethics in Development (CHRED) and the Conference of Human Rights Activists (CNCRA), however, disagreed saying the results were reflective of the wishes of the people.
In a preliminary report on its observation of the election by the Executive Director of CHRED, Moshood Erubami, the body said that” voting was conducted smoothly and peacefully across the state.
“No serious problems emerged in the true sense of violent ridden election that we have ever witnessed in the country and in Ondo state history itself, the counting of votes and declaration of results were not tainted with any significant irregularities and delays in vote collation in some polling stations were due to difficult terrains of some polling stations like the riverrine and the late closing of accreditation and voting in some”.
A statement by the State Convener of CNCRA Ifeanyi Odili said, “The election had come and gone and it was free and fair, devoid of election malpractices. Anybody who says the election was not free and fair must be marking him or herself.”
Addressing hundreds of party supporters who trooped to the Government House at Alagbaka to rejoice with him on his electoral victory, Dr. Mimiko said he was dedicating the victory to all lovers of democracy across the globe.
He pointed out that the poll conduct had raised the hope of a better future for the country. The governor urged his fellow contestants to join hands with him in the great task of building the state to an enviable status among its peers not only in the country but in the world at large.
Dr Mimiko pledged to work harder more than ever before in appreciation of the show of love and great support extended to him by the electorate both young and old, who defied the scorching sun on Saturday, to cast their votes for him.
“I commend every resident of our dear great state for counting me worthy of leading them as governor for another four years. I promise to break the jinx of non-performing second term governors by ensuring that we complete all on-going projects and initiate new ones for the benefit of our people.
“There will be more markets, job opportunities, mega schools, quality healthcare, favourable environment for commerce and trade. I will continue to work for you. I will not disappoint you. I will not let you down but please let all of us sustain the peace that we are all enjoying in the state by shunning any form of violence”.
Also the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu said Mimiko’s victory at the poll had established the fact that the LP had done well for the people of Ondo in the last three and half years.
Members of the National Assembly, the state lawmakers, commissioners, other political office holders and members of the public were equally present at the re election celebration.
Information commissioner Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the results of the election had shown that the people of the state would not allow a foreigner to dictate to them, their leader.
Akinmade: “The agent of foreign god had been defeated in the state for good. The governor had promised to consolidate on his achievements in the last three and half years.”
The former Governor of Ogun State Otunba Gbenga Daniel also described the victory of Dr Mimiko as a reaffirmation of the confidence earlier reposed in him by the people of Ondo State. He said the well deserved victory was a triumph for the rule of law and principle of one man one vote. “This is a victory that underscores the fact that the voice of the people is more resounding and would ultimately be triumphant no matter the odds.”
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC on its part said the result was a triumph of service over posturing and grandstanding.
The congress in a statement jointly signed by its President-General and Secretary, Comrade Peter Esele and Chief John Kolawole, respectively declared that Mimiko’s victory was one for Nigerian workers.
“We saw the record clearly written on the roads, the Schools, the medical facilities and specifically, the wages of workers in the State. These have all spoken through the ballot and we are all in rejoicing mood. We rejoice with Ondo people for speaking massively through the ballot yesterday in favour of the man who has served them solidly and unwaveringly these past years.
“We call on Mimiko to see his re-election as a renewed mandate from Ondo people and workers to even do more for the total transformation of the State.”
Indigenes of Ondo State in Ogun, under the aegis of Oka-Akoko Progressive union equally hailed the victory of Governor Mimiko as a victory-well deserved.
The group in a statement jointly signed by President and the Secretary , Barrister Samson Oki and Patrick Asooto, respectively and made available to journalists in Abeokuta, said the voting pattern at the polls “is a pointer to the fact that our people know how and when to pay back good service.”
The Lagos League of Political Parties, LLPP, also yesterday congratulated Dr Mimiko and his Labour Party, LP, for winning the concluded the Ondo State governorship election.
In a statement by the chairman of LLPP, Chief Udoka Udeogaranya, the league said the victory and mandate given to Dr Mimiko by people of the State, showed the extent the people have benefited from his government, urging him not to relent on his leadership performance on good governance in the next four years.