The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on Monday said it is yet to decide on whether to challenge the victory of Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party in the October 20, 2012 governorship poll in Ondo State.
The party in a statement by its National Chairman, Bisi Akande, said it was conducting “an accurate but swift assessment of the entire election” and would decide at the appropriate time whether to head to the tribunal or not.
Mr Akande, who issued the statement at the end of the party’s national leadership meeting in Lagos, said it was under pressure from some quarters to challenge the election results while some interests were urging it to accept the outcome in good faith.
He however said the party was more concern with the provision of efficient leadership rather engaging in activities that will slow the pace of democracy.
Below is the full statement issued by the ACN National Chairman on the Ondo election:
“1. Last week I issued a temporary statement on the reaction of my party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, to the outcome of the Ondo State election. Then I promised that the party will come back with a more detailed position after a careful interim review of the conduct and outcome of the October 20, election in Ondo State by the party leadership.
2. The Governorship election in Ondo State is over and the ballots received by INEC have been tallied. Some people have urged us to reject the INEC results outright because they do not favor my party. This we shall not do. We refuse to cynically treat our democracy as a thing to be discarded when its processes do not favor us. We believe in the long-run, the genuine processes of a genuine democracy shall favor all of us, even the loser of an election.
“We are prepared to lose elections if the contest is free and the process is fair and transparent. We know that in this manner our democracy is strengthened.
“No one race or political contest is worth damaging our democracy. We would rather lose the race and gain democracy than win the race and lose democracy in the process.
3. On the opposite side of the spectrum, other people are trying to pressure us to concede defeat as if all was perfect with the election. They do so not because they love democracy but because they are the political opponents of our progressive party. Their interests are not in justice but in appearing to be concerned about justice.
“They have never exercised any degree of political conciliation or bipartisanship in their exercise of public affairs. It stands as exceedingly hypocritical that they seek from us a gift they would never give. Thus, we see no reason to entertain their counterfeit expressions and the motives behind them.
4. This is our position. We believe in the right of the people of Ondo State to determine who leads them. For us in the Action Congress of Nigeria, the Ondo State election is a battle in a larger war; the war of deepening democracy and ensuring accountability in our country.
“We are therefore resolved to put the elections behind us whilst pursuing the task of providing leadership to our people effectively.
5. However, we have started an accurate but swift assessment of the entire election, from the vote count to the many and several irregularities and instances of thuggery and violence that occurred.
“Should we find ultimately that the misconduct and lapses were not sufficiently material to alter the outcome, we shall do the honorable thing and respect what has been announced. Should we find ultimately that the irregularities and wrongful actions materially altered the result, we shall contest the transgression as is our right and duty in a democracy.
“As leaders of a party and of people who trust the democratic process, we have a solemn obligation not to be swayed by emotion on one side or by intimidation on the other. We owe a duty to ourselves, to the people of Ondo State, and to this nation to vigorously protect the integrity of the process both during and immediately after an election.
6. We wish to state categorically that we would protect and defend members of our party from the unconscionable harassment and intimidation currently going on in Ondo State against our party members and communities that voted against the Labour party.
We take this opportunity to thank our candidate, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and the entire party for a valiant, dedicated and inspiring effort. We have nothing but accolades for what they did in Ondo State. They fought a good fight. As a party, we shall remain true to our pledge to resist any attempt to thwart the democratic process in Ondo State or any other part of Nigeria.”