A group, Ondo Coalition for the Advancement of Democracy (OCAD), has debunked some media reports that the protests in parts of the state following the substitution of the name of Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with that of Jimoh Ibrahim, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was instigated by the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko.
In a statement by its coordinators, Mr Obafemi Taiwo and Mr Kunle Adeyemi, and made available to Nigerian Tribune, the group stated that Mimiko had no hand in the protests, which it described as a spontaneous reaction to the injustice meted to the state by INEC.
“We are quite amused by the fact that anyone would think that the people of Ondo State would wait until someone of high personality prods them before they express their total rejection of someone bent on forcing himself on the state as a governorship candidate riding on the shoulders of divisive and hateful elements who are well known to be enemies of the state over time.
“When we received the news of that unfortunate name substitution by INEC, we immediately mobilised our members throughout Ondo for action, and because ours was a noble cause, the response and support we received from all and sundry including members of the NURTW, students, traders etc, as evidenced in the turnout, was a pointer to nothing else but the fact that Ondo people would not tolerate injustice.
“Nobody would become our governor through the backdoor,” it said.
OCAD added that although the protest was hijacked by some unknown elements at some point, it had no doubt that it was hugely successful.
“In fact, but for his timely intervention through our traditional rulers, security personnel and other stakeholders, the situation could have been worse.
“Let us also use this opportunity to warn that we will not succumb to the blackmail of the forces bent on fomenting trouble in Ondo State by attempting to impose on us a governorship candidate whose records of failure in every area of his life is legendary.
“We shall continue to resist such forces until the will of the people prevail,” it said.