Ondo By-Election: Labour Party Remains Popular In Ilaje – Okunomo

Sunrise OkunomoA former Chairman of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Mr Banji Okunomo, has revealed that allegations of non-performance against the Labour Party in Ilaje were baseless as they were outbursts of a disgruntled former party member.

He was a guest on the Tuesday edition of Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, sequel to an earlier interview with another member of the Labour Party in the Ondo State, Mr Benson Enikuomehin.

Mr Okunomo noted that he was the agent of the Labour Party in the just concluded by-election in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state, which as far as the party was concerned had been concluded based on evidences available, irrespective of INEC’s declaration that the election was inconclusive.

He said that the party was “a little taken aback yesterday when we heard Benson Enikuomehin on air appearing for the Labour Party.

“I use this opportunity to say that the Labour Party has never asked nor mandated nor authorized him to so do. What he did yesterday was for himself and for his immediate family.”

The Returning Officer for the State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko in the last governorship election, Mr Benson Enikuomehin, had been on the programme the previous day and surprisingly spoke about the Ilaje Local Government by-elections and the development challenges in the state in a manner not favourable to the Labour Party which he also belonged to.

Mr Okunomo insisted that Mr Enikuomehin was no longer a member of the Labour Party, having been purportedly caught in the web of political cross-carpeting going on in the nation’s polity. He said that he had since “withdrawn on his own” from the party.

“Our party has an etiquette, and the etiquette is that because of the nature of the fine and decent leadership of our Governor, we don’t witch hunt our members and we don’t normally do official eviction of our members, and maybe he took advantage of that.”

Although Mr Enikuomehin’s membership of the party still seems valid, Okunomo revealed that he dumped the party immediately after the House of Representatives primaries was held, because he aspired to be the Labour Party’s House of Reps candidate in the by-election but was not considered.

“He was not considered by the people, because for you to be the candidate of the party, the people must accept you, they will have to do a primary and this involves 3 state constituencies.”

The issues of developmental marginalization of the Ilaje people raised by Mr Enikuomehin in his interview was, however, more paramount to the Sunrise Daily crew as it was acknowledged that the discussion with him was centred more on these, and not about his differences with the party.

Mr Okunomo debunked what he termed the impression that the Labour Party was not popular in Ilaje, stating that the party had had different elections in Ilaje since the administration started, all of which they had won, except during the last governorship election in which Labour Party lost because the people decided to support the PDP candidate, Olusola Oke, who is from Ilaje.

Reading from documents in his possession, Mr Okunomo reeled out projects that were supposedly executed in Ilaje communities by the Governor Olusegun Mimiko led Labour Party administration.

Mostly stated as completed projects, especially in the health sector, he challenged Mr Benson Enikuomehin to check out his records to verify if those projects were there or not. He also challenged the Sunrise Daily crew to take a trip to Ilaje to verify the existence and status of those projects.

With counter-accusations against members of other political parties at the election, he also took on the allegations levelled against the Governor of state, regarding his campaign strategies during the just concluded by-election.

He maintained his earlier position that the Labour Party remains popular in the state and indeed in Ilaje Local Government, and that the by-election was conclusive as they only lost in 2 units.

Ondo Governorship Seat: Supreme Court Affirms Mimiko’s Victory

The Supreme Court has struck out the appeal brought against Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko by the former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Olusola Oke.

The Apex Court was unanimous in dismissing the petition for lack of merit.

According to Justice Sylvester Nguta and Mary Odili who delivered the lead judgments in the two cases, both the ACN and PDP candidates could not substantiate their claims, of injection of names into voters register.

Stating that if the names were injected, they could not prove to the court who the persons were and how many times they voted

Mimiko Defeats ACN And PDP At Election Tribunal

An election petition tribunal sitting in Akure, the Ondo state capital, has thrown out the two petitions filed against the governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko, in two separate rulings delivered on Friday.

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, had his petition dismissed in the first ruling.

Justice Andovar Kaka’an threw out Mr. Akeredolu’s petition which alleged that the election voters register was tampered with.

The Judge ruled that the matter predated the election and that the party and its candidate were aware of the issue before but did nothing about it.

The tribunal also dismissed the case of the PDP candidate, Olusola Oke, insisting that the evidence did not agree with his pleadings in which he asked to be declared the winner of the election.

Ondo Guber Polls: PDP heads to court, ACN weighs options

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State chapter, on Tuesday, said it would approach the election petition tribunal over the outcome of the governorship election in the state.

The party said it was studying the election result released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday with a view to pursuing justice through appropriate quarters.

It also expressed surprise that members and leaders of the party had been congratulating the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, over the result of the election.

A statement by the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Wale Ozogoro, said the party was compiling and collating reports across the state and would go to the tribunal.

The statement read, “The party has noticed misapplication of electoral guidelines in the governorship election. We are, indeed, convinced that justice will be achieved as we intend to seek same at the appropriate time.”

“However, the party is not taken aback by the comments of a few individuals who feel that the party should not seek redress.

“We want to put it on record that seeking justice at appropriate quarters is part of the rule of law, which is the bedrock of democratic ethos.

“We therefore, want to avail ourselves of every available option under the law to seek justice and rekindle the hope and aspiration of all Ondo people that democracy built on fairness, equity, and justice can truly be achieved.”

The party, however, urged its supporters to remain resolutely determined and keep faith with it and Chief Olusola Oke, saying it hoped to get justice through the court.

ACN Weighing their options

In a statement yesterday, the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy for the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO), Idowu Ajanaku, said “the ACN has given a great show in the election with a remarkable improvement on her previous performances in elections in Ondo State while the lot of the LP has dwindled as a result of the rejection of Mimiko by majority of the voters.

“It is clear that in contrast with the performance of Mimiko in 2007 in which he was declared winner in 2009 by the Court of Appeal, where he polled 198,261 which represent 55 per cent of the votes cast, his 260,199 votes represents only 41.7 per cent of the total 624,659 vote cast, reflecting a proportional decline, meaning that the opposition got majority of the votes.”

According to the ACN, “on the declaration of the election results, the Akure city wore a mourning look until their supporters had to be forced out for some sort of celebration as against the spontaneous celebration of 2009 after Mimiko’s mandate was restored. This speaks volume on the authenticity of the victory which we believe when tested will reveal what sort it is made of, whether it is of sand or solid rock.”

The party said it gave a good showing in all the local councils “in spite of the massive rigging, intimidation of supporters in the party’s strongholds, cancellation of results in Idanre, Ipele and Okitipupa among others.”

The ACN said: “We are poised to put the LP government on its toes from day one, pending the outcome of the meeting of the leadership of our great party to decide on the next line of action on the massive irregularities experienced in the conduct of the October 20 elections.”


Ondo election was free and fair – Law Professor

A Professor of Law at the Lead City University, Olopade Olusoga on Monday said the Ondo state elections, which produced the incumbent governor and Labour Party candidate, Olusegun Mimiko as winner, was a free and fair as there was no rancour or violence during the polls.

Mr Olusoga, who said he observed the election from his unit at Oke-Igbo, Ile-Oluji, said there was no rigging during the polls. He said the Ondo election passes as any conducted anywhere in the civilised world.

Why Mimiko won Ondo governorship election

Benson Enokhuomehin a member of the Labour Party in Ondo state said the performance of the incumbent governor and winner of last Saturday’s governorship election, Olusegun Mimiko was the major determinant of his success at the poll.

Mr Enokhuomehin , who was speaking  as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said  the enlightenment of the people Ondo state also contributed largely to Mr Mimiko’s success.

PDP chides ACN, congratulates re-elected Ondo state governor

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accepted defeat and congratulated the Governor-elect in the Ondo State gubernatorial election, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

The PDP also commended the people of Ondo State for what it termed “their emphatic rejection of tribalism and narrow political adventurism which it stressed were the hallmark of the campaign of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in the just concluded gubernatorial election.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary on Sunday,  Olisa Metuh, however hailed its candidate,  Olusola Oke for his courage, determination and doggedness, adding, ‘’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.”

‘’How better do Nigerians say no to the drumbeats 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 set back, utter rejection for the champions of ethnic politics.

‘’While we commend, Chief Olusola Oke, his running mate, members and supporters of our party, we wish to also congratulate Olusegun Mimiko on his victory. In spite, another lesson is here for the nation, especially the opposition political parties to draw from the commitment of our great Party to the full entrenchment of the legacy of free, fair and credible polls.

“Ostensible is the manifest unwavering devotion of President Goodluck Jonathan to the cause of democracy. He led the campaign of our Party to Ondo and promised free and fair election. Free and fair election he has once more delivered.”

The party hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the polls, the PDP however urged ‘’them to learn from any observed loopholes so as to continue improving in future elections.’



Re-dedicate yourself to service, Tambuwal tells Mimiko

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on Sunday, congratulated the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko over his re-election for a second term.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Imam Imam, Mr Tambuwal said the governor’s victory was a manifestation of the people’s trust in his leadership abilities.

He said Mr Mimiko should at all times bear in my mind the trust and confidence freely given to him by the populace and should make him re-dedicate himself to the service of the people of the State.

The speaker equally implored the governor to rise above partisan consideration and carry along all people in the task of building the state.

While urging those who have grievances on the outcome of the election to pursue their cases according to law, Mr Tambuwal said they should accept the result in good fate and cooperate with the winner in the interest of the people.

He pledged the cooperation of the House of Representatives with the new governor, saying the lawmakers will work with all persons and interest groups to deepen democracy in the country.

Jonathan congratulates Mimiko

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Olusegun Mimiko, the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo state.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati said “as Governor Mimiko looks forward to the commencement of his second term in Office, the President urges him to be prepared to work even harder to  justify the fresh mandate given to him by the people of Ondo state who voted for his re-election on Saturday.”

“President Jonathan assures Dr. Mimiko that the Federal Government will continue to engage constructively and positively with the Ondo 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,” the statement added.

The statement said President Jonathan wishes Mr Mimiko ‘a very successful second term as Governor of Ondo State’.

The Returning Officer, Adebiyi Daramola had declared Mr Mimiko the winner of the Ondo election having polled the most number of votes.

Mr Mimiko of the Labour Party had polled a total of 260, 199 votes. The PDP placed second with 155, 512 while ACN came third with 143, 512 votes.




Ondo election: Benin-Ore road opened

The Benin-ore expressway which was closed by the joint military and police patrol to prevent entry into Ondo state during the governorship election has been re-opened.

Earlier, Deputy Corp officer enlightenment of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Bisi Kasim had said the closure was to forestall any movement into the area by people who have nothing to do with the election.

With this development, motorists who had been advised by the road safety to ply alternative routes can now use the Benin-Ore expressway.


Previous report:Dozens of passengers stranded as police close Benin-Ore expressway

As earlier forewarned, the joint military and police patrol unit in Ondo state on Saturday morning closed the Benin-Ore expressway to prevent entry into the state during the governorship elections.

The three main contenders for the top seat at the Alagbaka Government House are the incumbent governor, Olusegun Mimiko (Labour Party); Rotimi Akeredolu (Action Congress of Nigeria); and Olusola Oke (Peoples Democratic Party).

In a telephone interview, the Deputy Corp officer Enlightenment of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Bisi Kasim told Channels Television that the closure is to forestall movement into the state by people who have nothing to do with the election.

He expressed displeasure that despite earlier warnings, there are still a lot of stranded passengers and motorists who are attempting to beat the blockade at the Oni Paraga area in the Ondo axis of the expressway.

One of the angry motorists questioned the rationale behind the closure of the road asking “How can the whole of South-South and South-East be bedridden and imprisoned because of one state election?”

“We have been held up for over 2hours now at the same spot at the border between ondo state and ogun state at the sagamu benin express way,” a passenger posted on Nairaland forum, a social media plateform.

In the meantime the FRSC have advised motorists to ply alternative routes such as the Lagos/Ibadan/Ilesha/Ekiti/Kabba/Okene or Abuja/Okene/Kabba/Omuo/Ibadan.

Jonathan promises free and fair Ondo elections

Ahead of the governorship election in Ondo state, south west Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to upholding the mantra of one-man-one-vote.

According to the president, who was in the state to drum up support for the PDP governorship candidate, Mr. Olusola Oke, the federal government will not fold its hands and permit thuggery to thrive during the governorship election.

He appealed to Ondo citizens to prevail upon their relatives and friends to prevent thuggery in the polls in order to protect Nigeria’s image in the international community.

On his part, the PDP candidate Mr. Oke promised transparent and accountable governance, industrialization and elimination of poverty in the state if elected.

3,642 ex militants to benefit from third phase of amnesty programme

Federal Government  has agreed  to open the third phase of the Amnesty Programme with 3,642 ex-militants, the Special Adviser to Nigeria President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku said.

Kuku said this in Arogbo, Ese Odo Local Government Ondo State on Monday while addressing members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at a rally for the PDP’s candidate for the October 20 governorship poll in the state, Chief Olusola Oke.

Kuku said 3,642 persons would join the 26,368 beneficiaries of the programme, bringing the total number to 30,000.

He said, “The expansion was sequel to the agitation from those that were not considered in the first phases of the programme.

“There is agitation going on in the Niger Delta and I have always being at the fore front of the clamour that the amnesty programme has to close, the boys are unrelenting and the security agencies have collected their arms.

“The only option opened to us is to return their arms. So if we are not going to return their arms, they should be included in the programme one way or the other.

“My office and that of the National Security Adviser have met and forwarded a memo to the President to consider the final inclusion of 3,642 persons to the  current  26,368 to make it 30,000.”

He said the programme was also being expanded to include those people that did not carry arms during the Niger Delta militancy but that were working for the ex- agitators.

Kuku said, “The militants were assisted by informants and other helpers; so the armed ones will not do anything without those helping them. We are talking of a process that even when we have dealt with these categories of people we still have problem, hence the extension.

“We have to include law-abiding citizens of these communities in the programme. Unless we do this, we will be telling the communities that they can only be empowered if they carry arms.

“In order to cancel that message which has been backfiring in this programme, it is important to include these people who are close to some forms of restiveness in their communities.”