Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State on Monday congratulated the new governor-elect, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, following his emergence as the winner of the last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
This was contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Eni Akinsola, in which he said “it behoves of him as the Governor of Ondo State to congratulate the Governor-elect, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, and wish him success in the challenging task of governing our dear state.”
Mimiko said, “It is incumbent upon me as governor of the state to facilitate a smooth transition between my government and the incoming one. I will, to this end, provide the ambience for a smooth and seamless transition process.”
The governor, who promised to continue to provide leadership to the state till the expiration of his tenure takeover, also expressed appreciation to the people of the state, saying “I use this medium to express my sincere appreciation to all our citizens for the very peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves throughout the election period. I will not waiver in providing needed leadership to our dear State till the last day of my term.”
He enjoined residents to strive to sustain the peace enjoyed in the state for the past seven years, promising to speak with them as occasion demands as his “eight year tenure inches to an end.”
Similarly, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Hon. Isaacs Kekemeke, has congratulated Akeredolu on his victory at the poll.
Kekemeke said, “The victory is an unequivocal expression of confidence by the people of Ondo State in your personal ability to lead; in the party, the All Progressives Congress to effect change; and also in the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to create a better Nigeria.
“Now that God and man have spoken, it is imperative for your Excellency to take the requisite steps to obfuscate whatever Pre-primary and Post-primary divisions that exist in our Party to enable it effectively play its supportive role to your government.
“I have no doubt too that, your Excellency will also assure all the people of the State irrespective of partisan proclivity that, your administration will reconstruct government for the benefit of all.”
However, the governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the last governorship election in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke on Monday congratulated Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, who won last Saturday’s election, just as he condemned the heavy monetisation of the election process which produced him.
Oke who commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents deployed to the state for being fair in the handling of their duties expressed disappointment over open inducement and free use of money to purchase votes during the election.
According to him, the situation requires urgent intervention of the Federal Government if its crusade on the anti-corruption campaign will be meaningful to Nigerians at the end of the day.
He said, “In the last seven years, the policy direction of the government of the day (in Ondo State) has resulted in the growth and circulation of poverty to our people.
“The resultant effect is the debilitating poverty that had made the people so vulnerable. Therefore, trading away dignity in the face of excruciating hunger during electioneering process requires little or no considerations for morals and values that defined us as a people.
“The open and free use of money to purchase votes, during the election by the ruling parties remains a sad commentary on our electoral process. This requires urgent intervention by government if the much publicized anti-corruption agenda of the Federal Government must have meaning to Nigerians.
“Offer of money for votes is worse than looting the government treasury. Apart from compromising the dignity of the people, it provides a fertile training ground for future looters of government treasury.
“The consequence of it is to render the anti-corruption fight a farce. There may be no economic matter more urgent, difficult to unravel and more sensitive to the pursuit of the average person in Ondo State than the current indignity foisted on the people by poverty orchestrated by maladministration and priority misplacement by the current administration.
“We hope the incoming administration will address the problem of poverty so that the integrity of our electoral process will be restored.”
Oke noted that the people of the state appeared confused and unsure of what would follow the immediate satisfaction from the naira handout received in consideration of the votes cast and said, “They appear wondering whether the votes they delivered on Saturday would restore light, revive dead industries, complete the uncompleted ones, give hundreds of thousands of unemployed graduates employment, pay arrears of salary to workers and guarantee regular payment of salary; whether their votes will make water to flow again in their unused and rusted water pipes, reduce dust on our roads, revive our education and health sectors and so on,”
Recalling events leading to his defection to AD, Oke said the movement was necessitated by the need for “us as democrats and conscience of the people to shun the in-built perfidy and organised deception in APC as revealed during its primary election.
“We moved to AD less than six weeks before the gubernatorial election. We knew it was a big challenge and the greatest challenge was time. But we were determined in the pursuit of our dream.
“We know how bad the situation is and we are aware that the art of governance is difficult and complex, especially during trying times. The steep reduction in global oil prices from over 120 dollars per barrel to roughly 30 dollars and the huge debt profile of Ondo State present a hard challenge that requires a prepared mind and experienced hands in the saddle. We are convinced that we can no longer afford past practices.”
He, however, expressed his appreciation to the people of the state for their support and assured the new governor elect that he shall continue to contribute to the process of governance and would not hesitate to point, in a civiliaed manner, the attention of the incoming government to any area where the masses seem not to have been considered in the policy framework of governance.
“We shall voice our opinion whenever we believe any member of the incoming government strayed from the progressive calling required of the administration,” he posited.