Barely 24 hours before the gubernatorial election in Ondo State, the incumbent governor, Governor Mimiko of PDP has addressed a world press conference in Akure. The forthcoming election was the focus of the press briefing, and the governor make some jaw-dropping accusations against the election umpire, INEC, and the APC.
“We are at a point where history requires us to say some truths to save our State from preconceived lawlessness and its ramifying implications.
“Recall that in the last few weeks, I have engaged with Mr President at least twice to appraise him of the challenge to law and security in our State owing to the activities of some political players, whose sole intent is to subvert the electoral process and short change the people of Ondo State.
“We have just been told that the same team of election ad hoc staff, which masterminded the largely controversial Edo election have been sent to our State to deliver a preconceived result for Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, the APC candidate.
“I have to state this here and now, that our people will not accept the method, men and process unleashed on Edo.
“We reject unequivocally the mission of this team in our State. The Edo team did not only call off collation by 9pm on that day, party agents, monitors & journalists were ordered out of the collation.
“Allowing for final subversion of the will of the electorates. We shall not allow such an ungodly process to be repeated in our dear State.
“We must say that the above is not all that INEC and those who want a particular candidate to emerge have done.
“Efforts have been concerted by INEC and forces within the APC to prevent the emergence of a credible and electable candidate for the PDP.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this ungodly process started when INEC, in flagrant disregard of extant laws governing elections removed the name of Eyitayo Jegede on the basis of a Justice Okon Abang order that has since been declared as a fraud by the Supreme Court.
“We wondered why INEC removed the name of a man who emerged from a party primary that was conducted in a free, fair and open environment, where INEC itself was represented, with another from a process that is illegal, and by people not known to law and logic.
“INEC discarded all legal advice not to substitute Eyitayo Jegede by its own chosen consortium of lawyers.
“Several other hurdles were placed on the ways of the PDP candidate, to the extent that he did not become a candidate until about 48hrs to election, on the directive of the Court of Appeal.
“INEC did not release the list of voters register to the PDP until yesterday. This is a clear infraction of its own laws and against its advertised ‘Time Table and Schedule of Activities’ for the Ondo election.
“INEC refused to publish Eyitayo Jegede’s name for 30 days as stipulated in Section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010.
“INEC denied Eyitayo Jegede the right to submit his Party agents’ list at least 7 days before the election as stipulated in Section 45 of the Electoral Act 2010 among many others!
“As we speak, tags for Ward Collation officers are not available for PDP Ward agents, this is unacceptable!
“More than the above, the agents on INEC list are agents submitted by a man, already aptly described by the courts as an impostor. A man who openly showed he is working as a fifth columnist in the Ondo election.
“We were expected to run a race with our hands tied behind our back while INEC also goes ahead to foist a ‘wuruwuru’ to the answer” result.
“Every resident of Ondo State knows we are free & fair people who however abhor impunity & open rape of justice. We shall not take this!
“In this instance, injustice stares us in the face and we are about being treated like slaves and a conquered people in our own country.
“INEC is being forced to subvert its processes, and imperil the Ondo election. The team it sent to Edo, which it is sending to Ondo is peopled by rabid supporters of APC.
“People that have displayed their brazen disdain for justice and fair play in the Edo election.
“If INEC was truely objective, it would have erred on the side of caution and save Ondo from the polluting influence of this adhoc team.
“INEC would have as a matter of fact, shifted this election to present a semblance of a free, fair and open contest.
“I am by this asking you the good people of Ondo State to be vigilant and insist on the sanctity of the ballot.
“We must not allow any alteration of result either at the Ward Collation Centre or anywhere along the line.
“We are a proud people, we can make our choices for the good of our State. We need no manipulation of any kind to exercise our inalienable right to choose our leaders.
“We also do not want anything to remind us of the inglorious past of violence and bloodshed precipitated by injustice and impunity.
“I have in my capacity as Governor met with the President in the past two weeks to call his attention to the peculiar challenges being foisted on our state.
“I have also at all times called on our people to carry out their activities according to the laws of the land.
“I have discharged my responsibilities in the above direction to the best of my ability and want Nigerians to hold those who want to subvert the electoral system responsible for any negative development that may attend the planned rigging of tomorrow’s election.
“As we make the sacred choice of electing a worthy person into the seat of Governor in our state, we must exercise the greatest level of diligence and vigilance .
“I urge you all to vote and defend your votes. Your vote is your power, use it wisely and protect it jealously.
“God Bless our dear Ondo State, Our Place of Pride.”
– Governor Olusegun Mimiko. (Governor Ondo State)