I Won’t Probe Past Government In Ondo, Akeredolu Says

I Won't Probe Past Ondo Government, Rotimi Akeredolu SaysOndo state governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu says his Ondo election victory was a manifestation of God’s power and he would like to focus on this mandate rather than probe the past government.

Reacting to the conduct and outcome of the election in Akure on Monday, the APC candidate said that he was surprised by the margin of votes between him and his closest rivals.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, declared the APC candidate, winner of the 2016 Ondo state governorship election.

He polled 244, 842 votes to beat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 150, 380 votes, while Mr Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) followed with 126, 889 votes.

“What has happened in this election is quite beyond my personal expectations but then it is a case of saying we cannot limit God – I want to believe it is God-given victory to the people of Ondo state.

“What was beyond my imagination was the magnitude – the number of votes we scored vis-a-vis what two other contestants scored. I never believed that the margin would be that wide,” Akeredolu said.

Therefore, on the issue of probing the state’s accounts, the Governor-elect said that this is a venture he would not embark upon.

“I don’t believe in probes. What I believe in is that I’ve been given a mandate to govern the state and when I come into office I will face the task.

“The past is the past and I am one person who believes that government is a continuum,” he said.

Party Support

Mr Akeredolu went into the election without the support of some key members of the his party and this further made his victory a surprise for many.

He, however, maintained that the support of the party is more important than individuals’ in an election.

“I believe that the party included everybody. So, the party gave us support and whether we like it or not, that will be larger than what an individual can give.

“If you have a national party behind you, it is larger than what any individual can give. So I believe that whatever individuals have done, they must have done through the party.”

Industrialization

Mr Rotimi Akeredolu promised during his campaign to bring back the industries in the states and he provided an explanation of how he intends to achieve this.

“I used the word revamp when I was talking about the educational infrastructures and co, but when it comes to the issue of industries, I have argued during my campaign that people use the word wrongly.

“They say to us some industries are moribund (but) most of these industries are dead. So, its not easy to wake up a dead person and just like an industry, you cannot wake them up.

“The important thing is that industrialization is important to us and we are going to have to get as many people as are interested.

“We have the sand for glass industry in the south. It is not necessary we have to go back to Oluwa Industry, the furnace there is already old and the technology there is no longer in use.

“So all we need is to have people come. We will provide the enabling environment for them and they can start another one. It might be in the same premises.

“We have industry on ceramics in Ifon. We are thinking about what we have on cement and I know that in the next few weeks, many more will come.”

He said that foreign investors have been approaching him to invest in the state even before the election and he was sure that with an enabling environment a lot of development would be achieved in Ondo state.

Ondo Could Not Have Made A Better Choice – Saraki

Ondo Could Not Have Made a Better Choice - SarakiSenate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has congratulated the Governor-Elect of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, over his victory in the governorship election in the state, describing him as the best choice for the state.

Saraki, in a statement by his media aide, said Akeredolu’s victory did not come to him as surprise going by his excellent credentials and years of preparedness for the business of governance.

He urged the Governor-elect to be magnanimous in victory by ensuring that he works with all relevant stakeholders in the arduous task of moving the Sunshine State to the next level.

He specifically urged Akeredolu to fully deploy his wealth of experience in private legal practice in running the affairs of the state.

He lauded the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the peaceful conduct of the elections and thanked the people of Ondo State for voting for the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the elections.

“The people of Ondo have made a clear choice by voting for the APC. I can only assure the good people of Ondo that the APC and its flagbearer have all it takes to wipe away your tears and provide you the dividends of democracy that have hitherto eluded you.

“With Akeredolu on the saddle of governance, I have no doubt that the state will soon witness unparalleled development both socially, economically and politically.

“Ondo could not have made a better choice than Akeredolu. Welcome on board,” he stated.

PDP: Sheriff Faction Seeks Reconciliation With Makarfi Faction

PDP, Markafi, Sheriff, PDP leadershipMembers of the Ali-Modu Sheriff-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) say it is time for reconciliation with the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee in order to move the party forward.

This statement comes in the aftermath of the Ondo state governorship election which the party’s candidate, Mr Eyitayo Jegede lost to Rotimi Akeredolu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Modu-Sheriff faction have blamed the PDP’s failure in the Edo and Ondo governorship elections on impunity of its leaders and their lack of respect for the party’s constitution.

The faction’s vice chairman, Mr Cairo Ojougbo, told journalists in Abuja that leaders of the PDP have refused to learn, even though the party has been paying the price of impunity since 2015.

Agents of Darkness

Meanwhile, the Makarfi faction of the PDP has described the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the party as agents of darkness, insisting that the former Governor of Borno State is not the Chairman of the party.

In a statement on Monday, the opposition party said its attention had been drawn to “another set of garbage and tissues of lies put together by the discredited loyalists of Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff in the name of a press statement”.

The party stated that the ‘group’, which it described as non-PDP members, had in the statement tried to sustain it’s illegal claim to the leadership of the Party, but insisted that it would not leave them to continue to deceive Nigerians.

The party’s division became obvious when the former chairman of the party Ali Modu Sheriff was removed at a convention in Port Harcourt.

After that convention, the embattled leader secured several court orders that further scuttled unity in the party.

The extent of the division was further seen when the party produced two different candidates for the Edo State and Ondo State governorship elections.

In the latest election in Ondo, the party lost to the All Progressives Congress, a defeat that had been largely attributed to the division in the party.

Mimiko Wishes Akeredolu Success Ahead Of Tenure

mimiko, akeredolu,Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has sent his congratulatory message to the Governor-Elect, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).

Mimiko in a statement signed on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Eni Akinsola, said “it behoves of him as the Governor of Ondo State to congratulate the Governor-elect, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, (SAN), and wish him success in the challenging task of governing our dear State.”

The Ondo Governor said “it is incumbent upon me as governor, 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,” he said.

While promising to continue to provide leadership to the state till the takeover date, Mimiko expressed his appreciation to the people of the state.

He said “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 promised.

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.”

Buhari Says Akeredolu's Ondo Election Victory Was 'A Huge Win'

Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari, in a congratulatory message, also described the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, as “a huge win“.

Akeredolu, emerged as winner of the Ondo state gubernatorial election, held on November 26, 2016.

In his acceptance speech, the governor-elect stated “there has been obvious neglect of people in the rural areas, and his government will focus more on grassroots development.

He then promised to go straight into work, to bring about improvement in all aspects of the state’s economy.

Ondo Election: INEC Raises Alarm Over Security

Ondo Governorship Election, Ondo Governorship PollThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised security concern over the attitude of politicians in Ondo State ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, says the actions of some aggrieved politicians in the state since the political parties conducted their primaries is capable of undermining the security of the state.

“The mindset of the political class, especially the politicians that belong to the leading political party on what it takes to win elections usually involve violence and malpractices among their followers.

“There is an urgent need for the political class to change its do or die attitude to good conduct in politics and a political caution of violence has to be done away with in our political parties.

“Our political parties must imbibe the culture of sincere eternal party democracy in the interest of the nation’s democracy,” he said.

Mr Agbaje made the remarks on Thursday at a meeting with members of the civil society groups in Abuja, to assess INEC’s preparation for the elections.

‘I Will Resign’

On the sideline of the event, the senior INEC official also explained why the electoral umpire published the name of Mr

Recession, Jimoh Ibrahim, Ondo PDP
INEC-Recognised Ondo PDP Governorship Candidate, Jimoh Ibrahim

Jimoh Ibrahim as the Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) candidate for the polls.

 

The decision has led to massive protest in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

“It is the court judgement of that day that forced us to say it is this person and that means if another higher court comes with a judgement to say it is Eyitayo Jegede, (we will obey),” he noted.

Agbaje further revealed that he had made a commitment that INEC would obey the ruling of the Appeal Court if the ruling favours Jegede.

“If the Appeal Court says it is Eyitayo, the commission cannot say no, but if it does, I will resign my appointment as a commissioner,” he stated.

Ondo PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, Ahmed Makarfi
Mr Eyitayo Jegede

Meanwhile Mr Clement Nwakwo, who is a member of one of the civil groups, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, had a different view about the procedure of selecting candidates.

He advised the politicians to address issues of candidacy in-house, instead of approaching various courts for such decisions.

“I do not think that INEC has any major role to play in deciding who the candidates are (and) that’s why they have taken the decision.

“It is really for the political parties to sort out their mess for the court to really not become a theatre of deciding who candidates are, but the political party themselves making those decisions in line with their own process and the rule of law,” he recommended.

PDP Crisis Deepens

At least 1.6 million registered voters are expected to participate in the Saturday, November 26 governorship polls in Ondo State.

There has been crisis over the authenticity of candidates in some of the parties in the polls including the PDP, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Olusola Oke, AD, Ondo Election
AD declares Olusola Oke as its candidate

While the APC and AD finally adopted Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and Mr Olusola Oke as their respective candidates, the controversy has deepened in the PDP.

Both factions of the party have continued to lay claim to having produced the authentic candidate of the party, although the Ali Modu Sheriff faction is backed by the court ruling which favoured Jimoh Ibrahim and which INEC has obeyed.

The PDP faction led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has equally been optimistic that “justice would be served” and called on all PDP faithful across Nigeria as well as the general public to remain calm and continue to support them.

In a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, the Caretaker Committee has reiterated its support for Jegede as the party’s sole flag-bearer.

President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu
President Buhari having a chat with Governor Lalong and Mr Akeredolu

On his part, APC candidate, Mr Akeredolu has made a mockery of the PDP, saying he would defeat both Ibrahim and Jegede if put together in the polls.

Briefing reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, he boasted that he would emerge victorious at the poll.

Ondo PDP: Makarfi Faction Insists Jegede Is Governorship Candidate

Ondo PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, Ahmed MakarfiCaretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reiterated its support for Mr Eyitayo Jegede as its only flag-bearer in the Saturday, November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

The support was declared on Tuesday at a meeting between the factional PDP Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and the state chairmen in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, revealed that the meeting took place at the temporary Secretariat of the Party in Wuse II and deliberated on topical national issues.

The State Chairmen were briefed on the developments in the party and some certain decisions of leadership.

The meeting also received reports from the state chairmen on the state of affairs in their various territories.

It was equally optimistic that justice would surely be served and therefore, echoed full support for Mr Jegede, as its candidate in the Ondo governorship poll.

The leaders further called on all PDP supporters across Nigeria and the general public, especially Ondo State residents, to remain calm and continue to support them in moving the party forward.

One-Sided Justice

Meanwhile, a three-member special panel of the Court of Appeal handling the appeal cases of the Ondo PDP crisis on Tuesday recused from the panel, following allegations that the justices have been compromised.

The justices bowed out of the cases after considering a petition written by a factional Ondo State PDP Chairman, Mr Biyi Poroye, who claimed that the justices were likely to be biased against him.

In the petition dated October 31 and addressed to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, the Poroye alleged that the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, had boasted in the public that he and his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, had settled the judges to do their bidding.

Mimiko Meets Buhari, Says Jegede Remains PDP's Lawful Candidate,
Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko

He also purported that Justice Sankey was transferred from Yola where Eyitayo Jegede, the appellant, who is also a senior lawyer, was practicing law for the past 15 years and that when the justice arrived in Akure, Governor Mimiko boasted that he catered for her to the tune of 100 million Naira.

The petitioner had consequently sought for the disbandment of the panel on the ground that his side would not get justice from the panel.

Ondo Governorship: PDP Crisis Continues As Appeal Court Panel Withdraws

Ondo PDP governorship candidate tussle The three-member special panel of the Court of Appeal handling the appeal cases of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in respect of the Ondo State governorship candidacy for the November 26 governorship election has disqualified itself following allegations that the justices have been compromised.

The three justices bowed out of the cases on Tuesday following a petition written by a factional chairman of the party in the state, Mr Biyi Poroye, who alleged that the justices were likely to be biased against him.

In the petition written on October 31 and addressed to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, the petitioner alleged that Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State had boasted in the public that he and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State have settled the justices to do their bidding.

Poroye further alleged that Justice Sankey was transferred from Yola where Eyitayo Jegede, the appellant, who is also a senior lawyer, was practicing law for the past 15 years and that when the justice arrived in Akure, Governor Mimiko boasted that he catered for her to the tune of 100 million Naira.

In the circumstances, the petitioner demanded the disbandment of the panel on the ground that his side would not get justice from the panel.

‘Unfortunate And Un-godly Petition’

At the resumption of hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Justice Sankey drew the attention of lawyers in the case to the petition and demanded to know whether the panel could continue hearing of the case in spite of the strongly worded petition against them.

Lawyer to Mr Jegede, Wole Olanipekun, in his reaction said: “I am taken aback by the development and I was not copied”.

Mr Olanipekun describes the petition “as most embarrassing, unfair, unfortunate and un-godly because the justices have not taken any step to suggest any likelihood of bias.

“If any party should complain, it is my client, whose right has been aborted because of the removal of his name as a candidate of the PDP on the list by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”.

Counsel to the petitioner, Dr. Alex Izinyon, however, told reporters that he was speechless, having no prior knowledge of the petition.

“I have no inkling of the petition and was not consulted by my client before writing the petition,” he stressed.

Dr. Izinyon asked the court to invite the petitioner to the courtroom to explain the rationale behind his petition and to make clarifications on how he came about his claims.

“I have been caged by my client in his bid to make caricature of the court, I have come here to do my job in accordance to the law, I do not know how the court will react to this petition but I stand by you, justices of this court because I do not have any evidence that you have been compromised,” he told the panel.

After thorough consideration of the claims, Justice Sankey disqualified the panel.

“Ordinarily, since no fact had been put forward before the court to establish a case of likelihood of bias and since lawyers in this matter have all denied knowledge of the petition, ‘we would have minded to ignore the petition. But it is a settled law that when a case of likelihood of bias has been raised in a petition, it has to be looked into, even if the petition is frivolous,” she explained.

The head of the panel added that the panel members considered it necessary to disqualify themselves from all petitions in respect of Ondo PDP governorship matters.

“We hereby step down from this matter and the case files are to be returned to the president of this court for re-assignment to another panel,” Justice Sankey added.