WITH shouts of “Iroko! Gbasibe!”, the people of Ondo State, on Sunday, started street parties to celebrate the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who immediately reacted that he owed the people his victory.
Governor Mimiko polled a total of 260,199 votes, while the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olusola Oke, had 155, 961 votes to place second. Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who came third, had 143,512 votes.
Mimiko dedicates victory to Ondo people as PDP plans probeReacting, Governor Mimiko dedicated his victory in Saturday’s governorship election to the people of the state.
The governor, who spoke at the Government House in Akure shortly after he was declared winner, expressed gratitude to the people of the state.
He pledged that he would continue to work harder in the pursuit of good governance in order to justify the confidence reposed in him.
The PDP, however, said it would set up a committee to investigate alleged cases of electoral fraud in the governorship election.
Reacting to the return of Governor Mimiko, the party said that investigation of the cases would enable the party to decide on whether to seek redress at the Election Petition Tribunal.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Ayo Fadaka, said by phone that security was not adequate in the rural areas.
“ The security provided by the government was not adequate in the rural areas. We are compiling the list of towns and villlages affected in the state,” he said.
Fadaka also alleged that INEC did not conduct any election in two wards in Ilaje Local Government Area and that the ad hoc staff did not turn up.
“ We will definitely seek redress if there are enough reasons from our investigations,” he said.
The Ondo State chairman of the ACN, Chief Olorunshola Adesoji, however, refused to comment on the outcome of the election.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria by phone that he was unaware of the outcome of the governorship poll and was not in a position to comment.
Jubilation in AkurePeople sang in groups and danced in unfettered revelry, with vehicles transformed into carnival floats seen speeding towards the Government House area of the state capital. The people claimed that they were celebrating the “victory of a hard working man who has ensured that Ondo State returned to the path of good governance and development.”
A lone dancer near INEC office, Mrs Enitan Adedeji, told Nigerian Tribune that she was elated and “overjoyed because this Mimiko has been vilified so much by a section of the print and electronic media, including the ones who were supposed to be partnering him in the quest to make the state better.”
Mrs Adedeji said it was a kind of personal victory for her because “I have prayed so much for a day like this and hoped that God would say yes to my prayers.”
She said the security provided for the election prevented it from being hijacked by hoodlums, which she said “would have discredited the entire process and cause another round of problem for the government and people of the state.”
Another supporter of the LP, Mr Yinka Olawole, praised the Federal Government for “the security cover for the election,” saying “I believe it caused many people to be free, as they know that election trouble makers would surely be caught.”
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, in his reaction, said it was a victory of God and for the people of Ondo State.
INEC declares Mimiko winnerThe Returning Officer for the election, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Professor Biyi Daramola, said having satisfied the provisions of the Electoral Act, Mimiko won the election.
The breakdown of the results showed that the Governor Mimiko’s party, the Labour Party (LP) won 13 out of the 18 local government areas of the state; the PDP won two, while the ACN won three.
Further analysis of the results showed that candidates of the three major political parties won in their local government areas.
The announcement of the result, however, led to jubilation across Akure, the state capital.
We’ll take a position soon - ACNThe ACN has said it would soon take a position on the declaration of Governor Mimiko as the winner of the election.
The ACN, in a statement signed by its national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, said it was still studying the details of the results of the election before taking a final position.
Akande said despite the fact that the party acknowledged the right of the people to choose who rules them, there was the need for the process that produced leaders to be transparent and credible.
“I have just been told the final results of the Ondo State governorship election. As a party of democrats, we in the ACN have always known that the choice of who governs has always been that of the people in situations where the electoral process is transparent and credible,” he said.
Akande commended the candidate of the party for the election, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, saying the ACN remained proud of him.
The voice of God has prevailed - BakareThe Senior Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has described Governor Mimiko’s victory as a clear indicator of the future of politics in the South-West.
Beyond that, he referred to the victory as a testimony to the sanctity of the voice of God spoken through him three Sundays ago, when he predicted that Mimiko would win the election.
Bakare, the vice-presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 presidential election, told Nigerian Tribune that Mimiko’s victory was a signal to corrupt politicians that no matter the magnitude of stolen wealth and the hood-winking of the gullible, no pervert or corrupt addict would ever lead the Yoruba.
“Beyond the landslide of Mimiko and LP, three things are clear: one, the popular will of the people is superior to the whims and caprices of imaginary godfathers, who think candidates can be imposed at will upon the electorate.
“Two, we have seen the beginning of the end of those who think filthy wealth can replace godly character and iron-clad authoritarianism can replace servant hood in leadership.
“Finally, the handwriting is clear on the wall that no matter the magnitude of stolen wealth and the hood-winking of the gullible, no pervert or corrupt addict will ever lead the Yoruba, because to them, a good name is better than gold or silver,” he said.
Jonathan congratulates MimikoPresident Jonathan has congratulated Governor Mimiko on his declaration by the INEC as the winner of the Ondo governorship election.
In a statement issued by Dr Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja, on Sunday, President Jonathan also commended the “dutiful, patriotic and law-abiding electorate of Ondo State, as well as the INEC personnel and security agencies, who ensured the election was peacefully and successfully conducted, in keeping with his administration’s commitment to making elections in Nigeria progressively better organised and more credible.”
The statement urged Mimiko as he looked forward to the commencement of his second term in office to be prepared to work even harder, to justify the fresh mandate given to him by the people of Ondo State.
He assured Mimiko that the Federal Government would continue to engage constructively and positively with the state government in collaborative efforts to achieve faster socio-economic development and better living conditions for people in the state and all other parts of Nigeria.
Be magnanimous in victory, Mark charges MimikoSenate President, Senator David Mark has congratulated Governoor Mimiko, charing him to be magnanimous in victory.
This is just as he counseled losers to accept the result of the polls in the spirit of sportsmanship, saying that “politics is a game that ultimately produces winners and losers.”
He told Mimiko to bring all stakeholders in Ondo politics on board in the task of administering the state, adding that the new mandate was a challenge for greater services to the people of Ondo state.
He lauded the INEC and security operatives for ensuring a peaceful conduct of the polls.
Tambuwal hails MimikoSpeaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, on Sunday, congratulated Governor Mimiko over his re-election.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, in Abuja, the Speaker noted that Mimiko’s victory was a manifestation of the people’s trust in his leadership abilities.
He said the governor should, at all times, bear in mind the trust and confidence reposed on him by the populace, adding that he should re-dedicate himself to the service of the people.
He equally implored Mimiko to rise above partisan consideration and carry along all people in the task of building the state.
He pledged the cooperation of the House of Representatives to the new governor, saying the lawmakers would work with all persons and interest groups to deepen democracy in the country.
National PDP, state disagree on resultTHE PDP is divided over the victory of Mimiko, as the state and national chapter of the party issued different statements.
While the national chapter of the party accepted and congratulated the winner, the Ondo State chapter of the party rejected the result.
The party equally commended the people of the state “for their emphatic rejection of tribalism and narrow political adventurism, which were the hallmark of the campaign of the ACN in the just-concluded gubernatorial election.”
The party, in a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, noted that “how better do Nigerians say no to the drum beats 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 setback, utter rejection for the champions of ethnic politics.”
He added that 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.”
The party further commended the INEC and security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the polls, “urging them to learn from any observed loopholes, so as to continue improving in future elections.”
But the state chapter rejected the result of the governorship election as announced by the INEC.
The party alleged that the election was fraught with irregularities, saying security was compromised in some parts of the state.
The director-general of the Olusola Oke/Saka Lawal Campaign Organi-sation, Dr Dare Bada, also accused INEC and the security operatives of conniving with the ruling party to deny their members from voting.
Result, a reflection of people’s wish - GroupsTHE Centre for Human Rights and Ethics in Development (CHRED) and the Conference of Human Rights Activists (CNCRA), on Sunday, said the result of the gubernatorial election in Ondo State was a reflection of the wish of the people of the state.
CHRED, an observer in the election, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the people of the state for their conduct.
According to the preliminary report of the centre on the election, made available by the Executive Director, Moshood Erubami, voting was conducted smoothly and peacefully across the state.
The centre, however, recommended that the independence of INEC should be preserved and enhanced, adding that enough resources should be allocated to it.
Also, the CNCRA said the election was free and fair, asking the losers to accept defeat in good faith.
A statement by the state convener of the group, 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 mocking him or herself.
“Also, any of the losers who has what will help to solve myriad of problems confronting the state should give such ideas to the winner, rather than seeking unnecessary redress at the tribunal,” the statement read.
Achievements earned him re-election - NANS
THE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has said the track record of achievements in the last four years has earned Dr Olusegun Mimiko re-election as governor of Ondo State.
NANS president, Dauda Mohammed, in a statement in Abuja, on Sunday, said the victory of the Labour Party (LP) candidate on Saturday transcended party affiliation.
While joining other Nigerians to congratulate him, NANS said “we see the election of Dr Mimiko as a confirmation that our democracy has gone beyond party affiliation, but rather on individual’s record of achievement in office.”
He said the entire Nigerian students had been vindicated for joining every other progressive Nigerian earlier in endorsing Mimiko for re-election in Ondo.
Mohammed, in the statement, however, challenged the governor-elect to see his re-election as an opportunity to further make life meaningful to the people of Ondo State.
It’s victory well deserved - Adebanjo, Babatope
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, a chieftain of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has described the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko in the gubernatorial election conducted in Ondo State on Saturday as well deserved.
Speaking against the backdrop of the criticism from some chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) against the endorsement of Mimiko by some prominent Yoruba leaders for a second term, Chief Adebanjo, a foremost Awoist, in a short message to the Nigerian Tribune, said the victory was also a vindication of the governor’s endorsement.
He said the people of Ondo State, particularly the electorate, had, through the election, shown their appreciation to Governor Mimiko for his selfless service and efforts at ensuring a meaningful and all-round development of the state.
Also, a former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said the outcome of the Ondo State election was a victory for the people who, he said, “have shown political maturity in voting in somebody who has performed well and wonderfully for them.”
Babatope said the election was a moment of victory for President Goodluck Jonathan in his quest to ensure the culture of free and fair election.
“It is a moment of history for President Jonathan in his advocacy for free and fair election. Since 2011, President Jonathan has affirmed his determination to leave with Nigeria and Nigerians a culture of one man, one vote after leaving office.
“Governor Olusegun Mimiko is also a very, very good person, who is doing all within his ability to ensure good life for the people of Ondo State and I wish him best of luck,” he said.
Obi congratulates Mimiko, Ondo people
ANAMBRA State governor, Mr Peter Obi, has congratulated Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State on his victory at the election held on Saturday.
Obi, in a statement made available to newsmen by his media aide, Mr Valentine Obienyem, said “the victory of Dr Olusegun Mimiko is yet another testimony that democracy is taking roots in our country.”
Obi, who is also the chairman of South-East Governors Forum, added that “the people have spoken; the best candidate has won.”
He said “while I congratulate my brother, Mimiko, on this victory, which is a re-affirmation of the belief of his people in him, I urge him to continue on the path of service to his people and the country at large.”
Obi added that “occasions like this provide opportunity for Nigerians to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his commitment to democracy.”
Obi, in the statement, also congratulated the people of Ondo State for their abiding faith in democracy.
S/West ACN reserves comment
THE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the South-West, on Sunday, reserved comments on the results of the Ondo State governorship election declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The party’s director of publicity, Mr Ayo Afolabi, told the Nigerian Tribune in a telephone interview in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Sunday, that party was still studying the results.
“What comment do you want me to make, we are still studying the election results,” Afolabi said.
He said that after studying the results, the party would make comment.
It’s triumph over falsehood - Akinfenwa
NATIONAL chairman of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, has described the re-election of Governor Olusegun Mimiko as “a triumph over deceit and falsehood.”
In a congratulatory message to the governor, Akinfenwa said the outcome of the election was “a recognition, affirmation and celebration of quality over mediocrity.”
He said the election was an unequivocal declaration of Ondo State as a free, respectable state, which abhorred subjugation.
“I congratulate Governor Mimiko on his resounding victory at the governorship election in Ondo State. It is a triumph of truth over deceit and falsehood. It shows Ondo as a free and respectable state, unlike a state tied to the apron string of one man who dictates to people what he personally wants from them and not what they deserve and want for themselves.
“Other states in bondage in the South-West will take a cue from Ondo people and prepare to set themselves free at the appropriate time. I congratulate Mimiko and the free people of Ondo State,” Akinfenwa said.
The AD chieftain also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a free, fair and acceptable election in Ondo State.
It’s affirmation of people’s will - Daniel
FORMER governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, has described the victory of Dr Olusegun Mimiko in the election in Ondo State as “a re-affirmation of the confidence reposed in him by the people of Ondo State.”
Daniel, in a message by his media aide, Adegbenro Adebanjo, 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.
“I urge Governor Mimiko to redouble his efforts to make Ondo State a shinning example of good governance, where the people will continue to be the key factor underpinning policies and project just like he has done in the last four years.
“This is a victory for democracy, a victory for the people of Ondo State and good governance. I congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan on his steadfast adherence to the rule of law and his commitment to fairness in electoral matters.
“I also salute the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and all those who made the election peaceful,” Daniel said.