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The last word has not been heard on
the Ondo State governorship election as the Peoples Democratic Party, on
Monday, directed its candidate in the election, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), to head
for the election tribunal.

The Ahmed Makarfi-led faction,
which produced Jegede as the governorship candidate of the party two days to
the election, said the poll was marred by irregularities even as it called for
its cancellation.

It also accused the Independent
National Electoral Commission of complicity and said that the outcome of the
election would be challenged at the election petitions tribunal.

Spokesman for the faction, Dayo
Adeyeye, said that the election was manipulated in favour of the APC and its candidate,
Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu.

He said, “The election and all
actions leading to it fell short of laid down principles guiding the conduct of
elections in Nigeria.”

He said the faction had instructed
Jegede and the Ondo State chapter of the party to proceed to the tribunal to
challenge the outcome of the election.

Adeyeye described the outcome of
the election as declared by INEC’s Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu
Ambali, as a charade, and said it was not the true reflection of the will of
the people of Ondo State.

He said, “INEC has, however, graduated
from inconclusive elections as seen in Kogi, Bayelsa, FCT, Imo, Nasarawa and
some other bye-elections in the country to ‘advanced election rigging’, as in
the case of Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.

“It is common knowledge that the
APC agents openly bought votes in the full glare of security operatives who did
nothing to prevent such dastardly violation of the electoral law.

“It is not surprising that the
electorate in Ondo State became so vulnerable to the corruptive influence of
the APC because of the hash economic situation in the country inflicted on
Nigerians by the APC administration which has, indeed, made all Nigerians
virtually beggars in their own country.”

Adeyeye, a former minister of state
for works, said the faction had persistently called for the postponement of the
election for at least two weeks to enable its faction to campaign and prepare
properly as a result of the setback orchestrated by a court order, but
regretted that the call was rejected.

But the Senator Modu Sheriff-led
faction of the PDP disagreed with the position of the Makarfi-led faction,
saying that Governor Olusegun Mimiko paved the way for the party’s loss through
acts of impunity.

Speaking at a press conference in
Abuja, on Monday, Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, traced the crisis in
the PDP to what he termed as governors’ highhandedness and their alleged desire
to impose candidates on the party.

Speaking on the crisis in Ondo,
which eventually led to the PDP losing the state to the APC, Ojougboh traced
the crisis to the return of Mimiko to the PDP in 2014.

He said, “All the PDP members led
by Mr. Olusola Oke (the candidate of Alliance for Democracy) left the PDP with
him.

“In choosing a candidate to succeed
him, Mimiko did not allow the PDP members to buy forms. He mainly anointed
Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) who was returned unopposed.

“Party members cried to high
heavens that Jegede is from the central zone where Mimiko hails from. Their
cries fell on deaf ears.”

But Mimiko and the state chairman
of the All Progressives Congress, Isaac Kekemeke, have congratulated the
governor-elect.

In a statement issued on Monday by
his Chief Press Secretary, Mr.  Eni
Akinsola, the governor wished Akeredolu success in the office as the governor
of the state.

The statement 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.”

While promising to continue to
provide good leadership to the state till the inauguration date, Mimiko
expressed his appreciation to the people of the state, saying, “I will not
waiver in providing the needed leadership to our dear state till the last day
of my term.”

Meanwhile, Oke has accused the APC
and the PDP of purchasing votes during the governorship election held on
Saturday.

The AD candidate also alleged that
the two parties openly bought votes from the people, describing the development
as a sad commentary on the nation’s electoral process.

Oke, who came third in the
election, in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Kola Olabisi, on Monday,
however, congratulated the candidate of the APC, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu on his
victory.

He also commended both the
Independent National Electoral Commission and the security agents deployed in
the state for being fair in the handling of their duties during the election.

He said, “In the last seven years,
the policy direction of the government of the day (in Ondo State) has resulted
in the growth and circulation of poverty to our people.

“The resultant effect is the
debilitating poverty that had made the people so vulnerable. Therefore, trading
away dignity in the face of excruciating hunger during the electioneering
requires little or no considerations for the morals and values that defined us
as a people.”

However, the Vice-Chairman of the
APC in Ondo State, Mr. Ade Adetimehin, denied the allegation of vote buying
levelled against his party.

 He said Akeredolu won the election due to
trust and love the people of the state had for him.

“Nobody bought any vote from
anybody and the victory was not a fluke, we worked for it. Everyone saw that
the election was free and fair without any report of violence from anywhere.”

Meanwhile, the governors of Oyo,
Edo and Zamfara have congratulated Akeredolu on his victory in the election.

Governors Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo),
Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Abdulaziz Yari-Abubakar (Zamfara), in separate
statements on Monday said the victory of Akeredolu was well deserved.

Also, the senator representing
Osun-West senatorial district, Isiaka Adeleke, congratulated Akeredolu,
describing his victory as a plus for democracy.

A former governorship candidate of
the APC in the 2015 governorship election in Delta State, O’tega Emerhor, has
congratulated the governor-elect and the people of the state for choosing to
join forces with ruling party

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