The All Progressives Congress has reacted to a comment by the governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will not take part in the governorship election if Mr Eyitayo Jegede’s name is left out as the candidate of the political party.
Governor Mimiko had insisted that Mr Jegede was the right candidate of the PDP in the state and not Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, whose name was in the list Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released as the candidate of the party.
The decision of the electoral had sparked protests within the state in an electoral process that shows the divide that is in the party.
The electoral body had said that its decision was based on an order from the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang.
After several protests could not force the INEC to change its decision, Mr Mimiko said the PDP would not participate in the forthcoming election if the verdict of a panel set up to look at the issue does not reinstate Mr Jegede as the flagbearer of the PDP.
But the APC is not happy with the statement. The party says it will not fold its hands and allow any political party to play games with the future of Ondo people.
The Deputy Director General of Akure Central Senatorial District of the APC, Honourable Ifedayo Abegunde, told reporters in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, that they would put in all efforts to ensure that the November 26 governorship election is not rigged by any political party.
“I want to say that the governor is frustrated. He is frustrated because of what has happened to him, regarding his candidate Eyitayo. It is not an easy pill to swallow. If someone is in that state of mind, you have to excuse whatever he says. He is not INEC so who is he to say the election will not hold?” he questions.
“As far as we are concerned, this election will hold on the 26 November and by the grace of God. The APC and its flagbearer, Akeredolu, will surely win that election,” he boasted.
On the wrangling within the APC which led to the emergence of the AD in the state, he said: “The AD, is insignificant. To build the structure of a party is not a day’s job. The AD used to be in government in Ondo State as far back as the days of Adefarati, but as it is today, nobody knows AD. The people of Ondo State are ready for change and going by our Slogan, We Say “Otun, Otun” meaning “think anew and act anew”.
He expressed hopes that the administration of Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, if elected, would lead the people out of economic stress and rejuvenate the state’s economy.
“People of Ondo State are ready for him and we believe the victory will be ours.
“We are committed to doing the right things with this election. We will not allow anyone to rig nor cause chaos before, during or after the election. It will be a peaceful one,” he told reporters.
Also, the Senator representing Akure Central Senatorial District, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, said the APC had been in the opposition for the last eight years, stressing that it is time for the party to move to the mainstream in the state’s polity.
“Our people are responding very well and we are sure of victory. We are not deterred by the movement of some members out of the party to AD, but we are working hard to ensure that everything will be fine for our party.
“There are no wounds, when there is any contest. Some people will feel disgruntled, some will accept the result of the election. I contested and I accepted the result of the election and here I am today working with the candidate of the party.
“I am a party man and I will work for my party and not sabotage it in any way and I believe that by the grace of God, we will achieve the result we all pray for. APC will definitely get to the Government House,” he said expressing optimism on the outcome of the election that will hold on November 26.