Adefarati: Untold Stories of Political Repression And Inherent Lessons for Akeredolu, SAN & Other Incumbents – Kayode Ajulo

Like an eclipse, swiftly, the years passed. And it’s striking to know that it’s exactly 10 years that we lost a political juggernaut in the person of Chief Adebayo Adefarati, former governor of my dear State, Ondo.
Baba Adefarati, as I knew and addressed him, even before his ascendance to governorship of Ondo State, was appointed twice as a commissioner under the late Yoruba and Afenifere Leader, Pa. Michael Adekunle Ajasin. He was the State Commissioner for Works and that of Ministry of Transport between 1979–1983). Baba was also a prominent member of the then dreaded NADECO that fought against the military during the slippery General Sani Abacha days.
He reigned as a governor between 1999-2003 and lost his re-election bid, majorly due to separation from many of his associates and lieutenants such as  erstwhile comrades, major supporters and the stars of his administration, namely Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Late Chief Rufus Giwa, Dr. Akerele Adu, Dr. Olu Agunloye, Chief Yele Omogunwa, Senator Nimbe Farunkanmi, Dr. Awolowo Ajaka, Dr. ‘Tayo Dairo, Chief Bamidele Awosika, Col. Akin Falaye (Rtd.) etc which gave Dr. Olusegun Agagu leeway to defeat him when he ran for re-election in 2003.
In 2007 Baba Adefarati was the presidential candidate for the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He died at a ripen age of 76 after a brief sickness few weeks before the election.
Baba Adefarati, indeed, lived a life worthy of emulation. He was an astute leader of men, effective manager of resources and passionately in pursuit of peace in our society.
Commemorating Baba’s after life, especially the 10years anniversary of his departing the earth as political titan that he was, his kins and associates led by the incumbent governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, last week roll out drums to celebrate Baba Adefarati.
Much as I recognize the full worth of Governor Akeredolu and others for playing  significant roles as we all remember Baba. I feel a strong urge, as a conscripted actor in the history of his life after leaving the seat of power, to do a quick review into the latter life of the deceased old man and leader. In addition, I will also point out an important lesson from this for the wielders of might and  holders of power of our days.
I grew up to know Chief Adefarati as one of the school Principals that are close friends to my late father, S. A. O. Ajulo, a book merchant. He was a frequent caller at the CSS Bookshop, Aminigun, Ibadan and sometimes, being an Anglican, he worshiped with us at The Cathedral of St. James, The Great, Oke-Bola, Ibadan.
He was one of the ‘very few’ visitors, who called my father by his corrupted first name, Solo (from Solomon).
I had hearty curiosity about their cordiality which got me to know after insistent enquiries that their friendship dated back to their primary school days as young schoolboys at Oka-Akoko. They became close till deaths despite the fact that Baba became a governor and  my father was apolitical with no political value in the scheme of things. Baba Adefarati cherished old and good friends irrespective of the gains involved.
Baba Adefarati, a progressive politician of the old order lived a simple lifestyle and cannot be accused of using his office to acquire wealth for himself. I have, up to now, my strong doubt, as to whether or not he used the seat of power to amass wealth for himself  as such possibility has pointedly was cleared when I became the Head of Chambers of the law firm of Tunji Abayomi & Co., Abuja in 2003.
Dr. Tunji Abayomi, the Founder and Principal Partner of the firm was Baba Adefarati’s lawyer. Three months into his exit as governor, the law firm was briefed on the need to ensure the payment of Baba Adefarati’s severance entitlements. Pursuant to the brief, I visited Baba at his home town, Akungba and I became a front row witness of Baba’s spartan lifestyle, travails and philosophies of life.
During one of our discussions, in his house, he narrated his ordeal with his then successor – the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, particularly on the fact that his successor has refused to pay his severance entitlements and that he is left broke. He urged that the law firm expedite action to get this money paid. I can remember vividly his word; “Kayode, as you can see now, I have no drink to offer you as my visitor in this house, because there is no money to buy”. I was shocked to my bones and couldn’t believe my ears.
Again, I had my first practical experience of Political Repression, when after few weeks of taking up the case as the head of chambers, my boss’s Abuja chambers, a rented office apartment located inside the Owena House owned by Ondo State Government was burgled, all the books and furnitures inside thrown out, and we were forcefully evicted from the building by the then new government of Ondo State for no just cause than the fact that Dr. Tunji Abayomi belonged to Baba Adefarati’s old order.
I was however surprised, when the same Dr. Agagu-led State government rolled out drums to celebrate the life and death of Baba Adefarati at the announcement of Baba’s demise. The governor allegedly spent over 150 Million Naira on baba’s burial arrangements, and invited one of Baba’s wives to his office despite his outright neglect when he was alive.
Thorough study has revealed that political Repression although takes various forms, it however points toward an end. It is the systematic hostility or ill-treatment  of an individual or group within a society for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of a society, thereby reducing their standing among their fellow citizens. This,  weighing the issues about Baba after office as governor, can be said to have been meted out on him.
Political persecution can manifest, beyond and besides shades of political persecution, in deliberate discriminatory policies, such as human rights violations, states sponsored media trials, malicious prosecution, imprisonment, state agents brutality, unlawful removal or suspension from office, denial of entitlements, extra judicial punishment and its likes.
Baba Adefarati, as history points to, did his best for Ondo State as he did for the County -Nigeria. Whether he was done a commensurate honour after exit or not is a debate that will last the length of time.  However, as we celebrate Baba, it is only proper that we learn from the significances of his successful life and glorious exit. It is imperative that freedom from disturbance; and tranquility reign in the conduct of the affairs of men. Peace must be made a pivot in our art of politicking if we must genuinely celebrate and honour of departed leaders,as this was the hub of the late governor’s philosophy of life.
Political repression must cease to be part and parcel of governance. it was a cheering that the immediate past administration in Ondo State, against all odds, gave the new administration of Governor Aderedolu, SAN ultimate cooperation, in a committed, seamless and historical transition procedures that made the inaugural ceremony of the incumbent one of the best in recent time. This was exemplar, and it’s hoped that this will be nurtured as a tradition.
Justice and fairness is the ultimate panacea for peace, it will be therefore instructive and wise for Governor Akeredolu, SAN and others in power to learn and imbibe the lessons of living in harmony and tolerance with their political rivals in steering the ship of their States to the full benefit of all.
What is good for the goose, the wise say, is also good for the gander. In governance, and in accordance with the dictates of their oath of office is to do right to all manner of people, irrespective of their political lineage of inclinations.
As it is certain that he who is incumbent today, one day, would become a former someday. I agree with the insightful words of Jacques to Duke Senior in Act II, Scene VII of Shakespeare’s  As You Like It;
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances”.
Peace, one palpable beauty for which Ondo State is reputed, is debatably a legacy seeded by late Chief Adebayo Adefarati. It has since endured through the years to this time of Arakunrin. While we extols the greats feats and ideals of this giant son of Ondo State, we indulge in the hope that under governor Akeredolu, Baba’s legacy of peace and tolerance will not only be preserved but also be taken for granted.  That, for me, is the minimum we must do to immortalise Chief Adefarati.
Dr. Ajulo is the Principal Partner, Kayode Ajulo & Co. Castle of Law, Executive Director, Egalitarian Mission for Africa and was the National Secretary, Labour Party.

JUST IN: Akeredolu appoints Chief of Staff, SSG, ?others.

The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Monday, appointed Ifedayo Abegunde, as the Secretary to the State Government.

Olusegun Ajiboye, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, announced this in Akure on Monday.

Mr. Abegunde was a two-term member of the House of Representatives, representing Akure North and South Constituency.

He was first elected in 2003 and later in 2011. But just before his second term ended, he was sacked by the Supreme Court for switching from the Labour Party to the Action Congress of Nigeria, the precursor of the All Progressives Congress. He had joined the ACN in 2012.

In 2015, he contested for the senatorial seat of his new party, but lost to the incumbent, Tayo Alasoadura, at the party primary.

He was the deputy director-general of the Akeredolu Campaign in the senatorial district in the run-up to the governorship election.

Mr. Abegunde was born on May 5, 1955. He had his secondary education in Oyemekun Grammar School in Akure between 1967 and 1971.

He subsequently had tertiary education at Florida University in the United States (1980-1984) and Morgan State University, in Baltimore, Maryland, also in the United States between 1985 and 1987.

Other appointments are? those of Olugbenga Ale, as Chief of Staff and Jones Ogunmusire, Senior Special Assistant (SSA), (Administration and Policy Planning).

Mr. Ale is a former permanent secretary in the state civil service and is an alumnus of the University of Ilorin, where he studied public administration.

He had his secondary education in New Church Grammar School in Owo, the hometown of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Mr. Akeredolu also appointed Taofeek Abdusalam, SSA , Legislative Matters; Kunle Adebayo, SSA , Research and Documentation; Raheem Aminu, SSA , Infrastructure;? Doyin Odebowale, SSA, Special Duties and Strategy.

Tosin Ogunbodede was appointed Chief of Protocol and Bola Alabi, Deputy Chief of Protocol.

“All the appointments take immediate effect,” Mr. Ajiboye said.


Source: NAN

Ondo governor, Akeredolu, freezes LG council accounts.

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has ordered the freezing of all bank accounts of local governments in the state.

He has also directed the suspension of the payments of salaries and allowances of the local council chairmen, councilors and political appointees.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that councils were informed of the development on Thursday.

Chairman of the Ondo State chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON), Bayo Alarapon, confirmed the development.

Mr. Alarapon, who is the Chairman of the Akure South Local Government, said the council chairmen were yet to decide on what steps to take on the matter.

“We have not really gone into the matter, but we are already into it and whatever we decide later, we will let the world know,” he said.

All the chairmen and councilors of the 18 local councils are members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, elected in an election held in April 2016.

The council officials have a high court judgment in their favour restraining the new governor from dissolving them with respect to their subsisting tenures.

Efforts to get a response from the office of the governor were unfruitful, because the newly-appointed Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, was yet to fully assume duties as the governor’s spokesman.


Source: Premium Times

“I left N20 billion in state’s coffers for Akeredolu’s government” – Mimiko

The immediate past government in Ondo State led by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko said it left N20 billion in the state coffers, refuting allegations by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that it inherited N150 billion debt.

It said the claim by the APC spokesperson, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, that the new government met a debt profile of N150b, “is a lie from the pit of hell.”

It advised the APC to face the business of governance instead of indulging in cheap blackmail that won’t justify its mandate. The Commissioner for Information in the last administration, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, reacting to the debt profile claim in Akure yesterday, said the Mimiko administration which did not enter into any contractual obligation to warrant any increase in the external debt inherited by it when it assumed office eight years ago, was able to reduce the debt profile to $49.9 million.

He said Adesanya is obviously intimidated by the performance record of the past government and will rather continue with his pre-election falsehood and lie-selling to seek attention, than live with the reality.

Akinmade explained that the foreign debt were overseas contracted obligations initiated by the two previous governments before the immediate past one.

He put the domestic debts incurred by the last administration at about N53 billion with salary arrears of about N20 billion, submitting however that the Mimiko-led government left over N20 billion in the state’s coffers for the APC government.


Source: The Guardian

Unpaid salaries: Akeredolu appeals to striking Ondo health workers

The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Monday begged health workers who have been on an indefinite strike to return to work, as his government makes efforts to begin the payment of workers’ salaries.

He also set up a special committee, headed by the Accountant General of the state, Akindolire Laolu, to look into ways of liquidating the accumulated salaries of workers.

“I’m appealing to the doctors and health workers in the state who are currently on strike to please resume work,” he pleaded.

“Let them come back and we can now sit and have a discussion on the table through negotiations.”

Speaking to civil servants on Monday while resuming office, Mr. Akeredolu noted that the workers deserved their monthly wages.

He also promised that workers’ welfare would be a priority under his administration.

“I am aware of the agonies you (civil servants) are going through without being paid your salaries,” he said.

He, however, assured that he would ensure that civil servants got their salaries and arrears as and when due.

Mr. Akeredolu urged the striking health workers to return to work for the sake of patients at the government hospitals.


Source: Premium Times

Jegede makes U-turn, says he will not challenge Akeredolu’s victory

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the recently concluded governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, has decided against challenging the outcome of the election in court, as widely expected.

Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, disclosed to Vanguard that he had accepted the victory of Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in good faith and had moved on in the spirits of good sportsmanship.

The PDP candidate said that there was no need to continue to fight over the matter since the people of Ondo State had decided on who they want to serve them at this time.

In his words, “I have taken a decision to move on and I wish Governor Rotimi Akeredolu success, promising to release an official statement later in the day.

“I speak for myself. I believe that if I cannot serve the people of Ondo State now, another opportunity will come for me to do so at another time. I have a profession and I am returning to my law practice.

“There is always need to demonstrate true statesmanship and that is what I have done,” Jegede said.

Ondo election: Akeredolu commends Jegede, Oke for conceding defeat.

Ondo State Governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu has praised his opponents at the election for not challenging his victory at the court.

Akeredolu was declared winner of the governorship election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Two of his major opponents, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) did not

file petitions at the Election Petition Tribunal within 21 days they are required to do so.

Akeredolu while speaking at his hometown Owo, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State said the election commended both candidates.

He said, “I have to praise my other contestants, especially, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede and Mr. Olusola Oke. I am sure that they have seen, as senior lawyers, that we are in a position to accept the result of an election, having assessed all the parameters, we believe the election was free and fair and I want to believe that their attitude is worthy of note and all of us, at least should try to emulate that in subsequent elections.

“They must have weighed all the options that there must have been substantial compliance to electoral acts by deciding not to challenge the result, that is a decision that is worthy of note and I want to thank them.”

Akeredolu, Mimiko begin transition, hold first meeting since election

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor-elect of Ondo state, and Olusegun Mimiko, outgoing governor, met on Wednesday for the first time since the September 26 election.


Mimiko, who received Akeredolu at the Alagbaka Government House, Akure, said he had put in place a “seamless” transition to usher in a new government in February.


He sought Akeredolu’s support and emphasied on the need to sustain the peace being enjoyed in the state.


Mimiko described the peace in Ondo as one of the greatest accomplishments of his government.


Akeredolu and Mimiko

Akeredolu commended him for his services to the state.


He said Mimiko had displayed exemplary leadership quality in various capacities, and that history will be Kind to him.

Akeredolu denies receiving N1bn from Fayemi to appoint wife SSG

The governor-elect of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has debunked an online report which alleged that the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, paid N1 billion to the incoming governor to appoint his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, as Secretary to the State Government, SSG, in Ondo State.

Refuting this allegation in a statement by his media adviser, Yemi Olowolabi, the governor-elect stated that the tone of the allegation represented the stream of earlier ones being launched in Ekiti State against former Governor, Kayode Fayemi, stressing that “acrimonious, wicked and irresponsible publications have no place in Ondo State politics.”

An online platform had alleged that Erelu Fayemi donated trailer-loads of rice to Akeredolu during the campaign while the minister donated N1bn to the APC candidate to enable him pressure the governor-elect to seek SSG position for his wife in form of compensation.

But Akeredolu denied receiving such donations from any one, including the Fayemis, urging mischief-makers to leave the minister and his wife out of unfounded allegations aimed at tarnishing their names.

According to the statement, “It is regrettable that some lazy and irresponsible individuals can just sit down in a corner to cook wicked allegations against innocent people.

“This trend of allegations against Fayemi started in Ekiti State after Captain Sagir Koli revealed in an audio tape how Governor Ayodele Fayose allegedly stole himself to power through treason, which the governor denied until principal actors started confessing to the crime.

“Since then, there has been a trend in which Fayemi is painted as a super rich who donated N1.5b to President Muhammadu Buhari’s election campaign and now N1b to Akeredolu from his bottomless pocket as if a billion naira is what can be wrapped in an envelope and dashed out as a gift.

“Neither Fayemi nor his wife has ever demanded any position from Akeredolu. Both Fayemi and Akeredolu abhor such as activists. In fact, the woman is at present preoccupied with her women advocacy job around the world, so much that she would have no time for local political activities.”

Asking mischief-makers to leave the Fayemis out of the pains of rejection at poll, Olowolabi said: “We appreciate the fact that the pains of post-defeat trauma can be debilitating and sometimes malignant, such trauma should not degenerate into taking away our humanity to launch wicked lies against innocent people.

“Or is it not laughable that some irresponsible irritants would present a picture allegedly in Ondo State that Fayemi’s wife used to attend night club in Ado-Ekiti and would want decent people to believe such a disingenuous and senseless allegation when it is common knowledge that Erelu Bisi Fayemi is a world-class woman of grace and honour, completely unsusceptible to the antics and pleasure principle of merry-makers in government who have turned the Government House to a play-house for revellers and sensualists.

“Fayemi has no millions let alone billion to be given out for an election victory that can go either way and he and his wife have never, never spoken to Akeredolu about ceding any position to anyone. Neither has Erelu Fayemi spoken about any senatorial ambition.

“The devious plot to present a malicious story as coming from APC in Ondo State is not only condemnable, it is also a shame to the writers who have shown themselves as lacking in integrity, honour and grit to squarely resolve the problems that plague them instead of maligning innocent people to vent their anger over election loss.”

No group can lay claim to Akeredolu’s victory – APC chieftain

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Saka Yusuf, said on Thursday that no group can lay claim to the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in the just concluded gubernatorial poll in Ondo State.

Yusuf, was reacting to a published story accredited to the former Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, that those who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were responsible for the victory of the party.

But, the party chieftain, who spoke with reporters in Akure, the state capital said it was the people of the state who voted for Akeredolu.

Yusuf noted that the PDP defectors are in two blocks, adding that they include the Akokos and the Ikale.

He stressed that the local government where majority of them are from in Akoko, the Akoko South west has always been won by APC due to the factor of late Governor Adebayo Adefarati and his son, Gboyega.

He also explained that the Ikale, which has always been the stronghold of PDP, particularly Okitipupa has never been won by APC despite the defectors are from that local government.

Yusuf, however, said their defections added value to the party but the people of the state made the victory of Akeredolu happened.

“We have three reasons why we won the election. The credibility and acceptability of Akeredolu, the desire to align with the federal government by our people and the people poor performance of Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s government.

“How are you expecting a governor to win in a civil servant state when workers are being owned seven months salaries”?

Tinubu not more than state level APC leader, Akeredolu suggests.

The Ondo State governor-elect, on Wednesday at the State House, suggested former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu is not more than a state level leader of the All Progressives Congress.

So, Mr. Akeredolu said, mentioning Mr. Tinubu in his victory speech, after he specially acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari and party chairman John Odigie-Oyegun could have necessitated inclusion of “36 or 37” leaders – referring to the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr. Akeredolu, accompanied by the deputy governor-elect, Agboola Ajayi, addressed journalists after meeting with Mr. Buhari, and explained why he didn’t mention Mr. Tinubu – reputed for his pivotal role in the formation of APC and emergence of Mr. Buhari – in his victory speech.

In his victory speech after he was declared winner of the election on Sunday, Mr. Akeredolu “profusely” thanked Mr. Buhari; Mr. Oyegun, the “indefatigable and principled Chairman”; and “loyal” governors and ministers – subtly hitting at South West APC leaders, including Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and his Lagos counterpart, Akinwumi Ambode, who had abandoned him during campaign, allegedly supporting Olusola Oke of Alliance for Democracy instead.

Although Messrs. Tinubu and Ambode have extended congratulations to Mr. Akeredolu, it is apparent, with his subtle denigration on Wednesday, the governor-elect is still angry he was not supported by the former Lagos Governor.

He said, “On the names that were mentioned in my speech when expressing gratitude and that I didn’t specifically thank Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I thanked the President and the leader of our party profusely for the leadership which he showed leading to this election.

“I also thanked our indefatigable chairman for standing by the truth and for his position on this matter that led to this election. I have no reason to do otherwise.

“Party structure to the best of my knowledge is very clear. You have the leadership of the party and that is represented by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

“After the election, a chief executive emerges, he becomes a leader of the party, you don’t have to personalise and be looking for leaders all over the place.

“If we have to do that, then I will have to mention 36 or 37 leaders. So I believe the leadership as represented by the President covers all leaders and that tells me it would include Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it would include even Baba Akande, Onu, and so many leaders.

“But President Buhari is the leader of the party. So, that is my position there.”

He however denied rift with Mr. Tinubu.

“For me as a person, I believe he is one of the leaders of the party and I don’t see any strain relationship between us. And you would observe that he has sent in his congratulatory message after the election, so what else do you expect?

”I mean all of us see this as victory for the APC, not for Akeredolu, not for us an individual but for the party as a whole. I believe he is a member of the party. Mr. Femi Adesina had issued a release but you journalists just want to put words into our mouths,” said Mr. Akeredolu.

Mr. Akeredolu and his deputy were led to the President by the Chairman of APC Campaign Council in Ondo State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State.

Mr. Tinubu had backed Olusegun Abraham to clinch APC ticket eventually won by Mr. Akeredolu to contest, and win, last Saturday’s governorship election.

But Mr. Akeredolu’s emergence in the primary saw aggrieved losers like Messrs Abraham and Oke petition APC appeals panel.

The panel invalidated Mr. Akeredolu’s victory but Mr. Oyegun-led National Working Committee overruled the panel, provoking a furious Mr. Tinubu to accuse his party of injustice and demand the chairman’s resignation in a strongly worded letter in which he also renounced the “honorific title” of national leader.

Mr. Tinubu later in his congratulatory message to Mr. Akeredolu called Mr. Buhari the “national leader of the party whose stature and dignity helped guide APC to another victory.”

Bola Ilori, an ex-aide to Mr. Aregbesola, staunchly pro-Tinubu, headed Mr. Oke’s campaign, and many APC card carrying members loyal to the former Lagos Governor, citing “injustice in our party” openly mobilised support for the AD’s flag bearer, fueling allegations Mr. Tinubu backed Mr. Oke who came distant third in the elections.

But the Presidency, in a statement on Monday, said Mr. Tinubu did not work against APC in Ondo, having promised Mr. Buhari he would not be involved in anti-party politics.

The statement also denied any plot against Mr. Tinubu and acknowledged him as “a priceless asset” to the APC.

Mr. Akeredolu reached the pinnacle of his career, becoming President of the Nigerian Bar Association. But in politics, he did not count much to anything when Mr. Tinubu backed him when he first aimed at becoming Ondo Governor in 2012.

But then in the 2012 poll, he came third in that election, coming behind Olusola Oke of PDP then, and Olusegun Mimiko who used Labour Party to clinch a second term.

Ondo guber: Pay your officers who took part in election – Akeredolu tells Police

The newly elected governor of Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Wednesday described as embarrassing the inability of the Police authority to pay its men and officers who participated in the state governorship election on Saturday.


Akeredolu, who said that the policemen who took part in the election had been stranded and become a burden to him because they had been coming to his house since the Saturday election to demand for money from him, urged the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to pay the allowances of security personnel deployed for the election.


This development came as the Akure Divisional Unity Forum (ADUF) advised the Governor-elect to emulate the principle of former Governor Michael Adekunle Ajasin, the first civilian governor of the state.

In the letter of congratulation signed by Chief Samuel Agboola Akintan and Prof Olu Aboluwoye, ADUF said the Akure division comprising of Akure South, North, Ifedore and Idanre Local Governments need rapid development.


Some security men posted for the election had protested the non-payment of their allowances in the state on Monday, causing traffic gridlock and logjam in Ondo West council area.


But speaking after he was given his Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Akeredolu disclosed that the security operatives complained to him that their allowances were not paid since they were deployed for the election last week.

INEC Presents Certificate Of Return To Akeredolu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Wednesday presented the Governor-elect, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN his certificate of return.

Akeredolu was accompanied to the event which was held at the INEC headquarters in Akure, the state capital by his wife, Betty.

Other dignitaries at the event include the State Chairman of the party, Mr. Isaac Kekemeke, his deputy, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, former deputy governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, Director-General of Akeredolu’s campaign platform, Hon. Victor Olabimtan, Femi Agagu, Hon. Kehinde Henry Bello, Oladunni Odu among others.

Akeredolu, said the victory is not for him or APC alone but for the good people of the state.

He said “it is a victory for the people of Ondo State, irrespective of which side of the divide you stood during the election.

“For me it is a call to service and a challenge to perform. Although we all had different point of view before the election but today, as members of one strong, vibrant and indivisible Ondo State family, we are all united and resolute with one single objective to save our beloved state.

“I cannot thank enough, my fellow compatriots during this election, who had a separate conviction and voted elsewhere.

“They took the guts to answer the call of democracy to make a choice. I believe it is these resounding voices that have created this worthy moment which is making this victory real and refreshing.”

“With this new dawn, it is now time to rediscover and reinvent ourselves. It is time to find what we lost, to rescue this land and its people from the myriad of poverty and pains which daily assail their lives.

“As patriots, it is now time to unit and revamps our fortunes. As governor, we will take deliberate and decisive steps to optically harness our overall potential for greatness, prosperity, peace and stability”

The governor, however commended the INEC and the security agencies for organising what he described as most credible, transparent, free and fair election.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Olusegun Agbaje denied that the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying “this is not only untrue, but highly embarrassing.

On why he could not postponed the election despite the complaint of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN, Agbaje said there was no justification to do so.

He noted that it is most unlikely that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) would postpone any of its scheduled examinations simply because of its candidate in a secondary school was sick or wounded.


INEC presents certificate of return to Akeredolu

Oke concedes defeat, decries monetization of electoral process as he congratulates Akeredolu

The Gubernatorial Candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke on Monday congratulated Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Peoples Congress (APC) who won last Saturday’s election even as he decried the heavy monetization of the election process which produced him.

Oke who addressed the Press in Akure commended both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents deployed to the State for being fair in the handling of their duties but regretted that the open and free use of money to purchase votes during the election by the ruling parties remains a sad commentary on the nation’s electoral process.

This development, according to him, required the urgent intervention by government if the much publicized anti-corruption agenda of the Federal Government must have meaning to Nigerians.

His words: “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 electioneering process requires little or no considerations for morals and values that defined us as a people. The open and free use of money to purchase votes, during the election by the ruling parties remains a sad commentary on our electoral process. This requires urgent intervention by government if the much publicized anti-corruption agenda of the Federal Government must have meaning to Nigerians.

“Offer of money for votes is worse than looting the government treasury. Apart from compromising the dignity of the people, it provides a fertile training ground for future looters of government treasury. The consequence of it is to render the anti-corruption fight a farce. There may be no economic matter more urgent, difficult to unravel and more sensitive to the pursuit of the average person in Ondo State than the current indignity foisted on the people by poverty orchestrated by maladministration and priority misplacement by the current administration. We hope the incoming administration will address the problem of poverty so that the integrity of our electoral process will be restored.”

While noting that from the observation of the people of Ondo State, they appear confused and unsure of what would follow the immediate satisfaction from the naira handout received in consideration of the votes cast.

“They appear wondering whether the votes they delivered yesterday would restore light, revive dead industries, complete the uncompleted ones, give hundreds of thousands of unemployed graduates employment, pay arrears of salary to workers and guarantee regular payment of salary; whether their votes will make water to flow again in their unused and rusted water pipes, reduce dust on our roads, revive our education and health sectors  and so on,” he stated.

Oke, who recalled the event leading to his and his followers  movement to the AD, said the movement was necessitated by the need for “us as democrats and conscience of the people to shun the in-built perfidy and organized deception in APC as revealed during its primary election.

“We moved to AD less than six weeks before the gubernatorial election. We knew it was a big challenge and the greatest challenge was time. But we were determined in the pursuit of our dream.

“We know how bad the situation is and we are aware that the art of governance is difficult and complex, especially during trying times. The steep reduction in global oil prices from over 120 dollars per barrel to roughly 30 dollars and the huge debt profile of Ondo State present a hard challenge that requires a prepared mind and experienced hands in the saddle. We are convinced that we can no longer afford past practices.

That was the compelling re-occurring issue that defined our struggle. We thank the people of Ondo State who believed in the struggle of Alliance for Democracy and its candidate, Chief Olusola Oke.

“Ondo State requires economic re-engineering, creative reform, materially changing the substance of its economic policy as well as the objectives of that policy in a way that the economic well-being of the people will be restored again. Therein lies the essence of progressive democratic governance and that is what our party, the Alliance for Democracy stands for. The incoming government therefore must urgently address the issue of ravaging poverty in the state through: Industrialization; Job/Wealth Creation; Rural Integration; Infrastructural Development; Security,”

He, therefore, assured that as members of the opposition, the AD shall continue to contribute to the process of governance and would not hesitate to point, in a civilized manner, the attention of the incoming government to any area where the masses seem not to have been considered in the policy framework of governance.

“We shall voice our opinion whenever we believe any member of the incoming government strayed from the progressive calling required of the administration,” he posited.

He, therefore, congratulated the governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN and wish him success and praying to God to guide him “as he directs the affairs of our dear state.”

Governor Mimiko Backs Down, Congratulates Akeredolu As Governor-elect.

Outgoing Ondo state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko,  has congratulated the Governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu over his victory in Saturday’s guber poll.


Mimiko in a congratulatory message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Eniola Akinsola, said he would facilitate a smooth transition of his government with the incoming administration of Mr. Akeredolu in the days ahead.


The statement which came as a surprise to many reads: “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.


“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.”


Mimiko promised to provide continued leadership to the state until the last day in office.


He appreciated the people for their peaceful conduct during the Saturday poll adding that he would not renege on his promised till the end of his tenure.


“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,” the governor said.


He asked the residents of the state to strive to sustain the peace enjoyed in the state for the past seven years with a promise to address them publicly at a date to be announced later.


The governor who suffered bruising defeat in last Saturday’s guber election has not paid workers salaries in the last 7 months.

ANALYSIS: Six questions about Mimiko, others, Ondo election left unanswered

In this analysis, Bisi Abidoye looks at the talking points from last weekend’s governorship election in Ondo State

Gatecrashing the federal party?

The All Progressives Congress won Saturday’s governorship election of Ondo state. The candidate of the party, Rotimi Akeredolu, was declared winner, having received the highest number of the votes and met all the stipulated requirement. Mr. Akeredolu won in 13 of the 18 local government areas of the state and was runner-up in the other five shared by his two nearest rivals, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (who won in three LGAs) and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (who won in the other two LGAs.)

If Mr. Akeredolu’s election stands, it will be only the second time in the 40-year history of Ondo state that it has elected the candidate of a federal ruling party, the first being Olusegun Agagu who was elected on the platform of the PDP in 2003. Of course, the electoral commission had on two other occasions returned candidates of the parties ruling at the centre – Akin Omoboriowo of the National Party of Nigeria in 1983 and Segun Agagu of the PDP in 2007. But both verdicts were upturned at the court. Mr. Omoboriowo’s win was quashed after an uprising that gave the state its reputation for violent resistance to perceived electoral shenanigans.

It may be relevant that Ondo voted APC in last year’s federal elections, before consoling Mr. Mimiko by electing a majority of his party’s candidates into the state legislature. And just last week, the only Ondo senator elected last year on PDP ticket, Yele Omogunwa, defected to join the APC caucus. Maybe Ondo is an APC state after all.

When is a mandate?

Mr. Akeredolu won the election with 244,842 votes. But his tally represents only 44.41 percent of the valid votes cast, and means there were more voters on Saturday who preferred someone else as governor.

In some other electoral systems, where a mandate can only be delivered by a majority of voters, the Ondo state governor-elect would only have qualified for a run-off against his closest rival. But don’t blame Mr. Akeredolu for this seeming quirk – Nigeria’s electoral system awards victory to the candidate with the highest number of votes, if the candidate can show his or her footprints across the constituency. The framers of the nation’s constitution made provisions to ensure that the winning plurality does not come from only a section of the field. In addition to having the highest number of votes, the winner must also score at least a quarter of the votes in at least two-thirds of the constituency.

Mr. Akeredolu cleanly scaled this hurdle – in fact, he had majority of the votes in each of 13 LGAs and returned second with more than a quarter of the votes in each of the other five of the state’s 18 LGAs, apart from Ilaje where his rival of the AD denied every other candidate that honour.

But that is not the only thing that may twitch some purists’ noses. Only 35.49 percent of the registered voters cared to turn out last Saturday, despite initial media reports of public enthusiasm about the polls. If you take Mr. Akeredolu’s 244, 842 votes as a percentage of the 1,647,973 registered voters, then it means he has been elected by only 14.85 percent of those who were entitled to have a say on who should be the next governor of Ondo State. Again, this is not peculiar to Mr. Akeredolu, many before him had been so elected, including the man who would soon be his predecessor, Olusegun Mimiko.

What happened, Mr. Mimiko?

The outgoing two-term governor’s party got only 27.27 percent of the votes on Saturday (150,380). Curiously, the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum was never elected on a PDP ticket. He became governor in 2008 after a successful petition against the 2007 election of PDP’s Mr. Agagu. A post-primary defector from the PDP, he had challenged Mr. Agagu’s reelection on the ticket of the Labour Party and was reelected in 2012 on the same party’s ticket, in a three-man race that mirrored that of last Saturday. His two main challengers in that election were Mr. Akeredolu of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria and Mr. Oke, who was the PDP candidate at the time. After his reelection, Mr. Mimiko defected with the governor’s seat to the PDP, infuriating sitting members of the party in the state, including Mr. Oke who eventually fled to the APC.

In the 2012 election, Mr. Oke’s PDP finished second behind Mr. Mimiko’s Labour Party. So with the LP dissolving into the PDP long before Saturday’s election, it was normal to project the PDP as frontrunner last Saturday. Alas! It returned a distant second with just over 27 percent of the votes. Considering that the PDP candidate was handpicked by Mr. Mimiko, did the outcome of the election indicate how sore Ondo voters were over the stewardship of the outgoing governor?

A rolling stone

As for Mr. Oke, what would he make of his finishing on Saturday? He was first runner-up in 2012, albeit with the (some have said half-hearted) support of the PDP which then controlled the federal government. Mr. Oke defected to the APC in resentment of Mr. Mimiko taking over the PDP in the state. He ran for the ticket of the APC but again left in a huff over alleged lack of fair play in the primary. Mr. Oke seized the ticket of the AD for last Saturday’s election to howls by some of the older members of the party. But it was widely speculated that a disaffected section of the APC covertly backed his campaign, so many punters made him the dark horse. It turned out not to be a smart bet. He returned very far behind the man whose nomination by the APC he had queried. Will he stay where he is now or keep his feet loose?

At least, Mr. Oke proved that he has home support though. He won in his Ilaje LGA handsomely, unlike Mr. Jegede of the PDP who only won in the backyard of his mentor, Mr. Mimiko.

Lame donkey or sabotaged?

To be fair to Mr. Jegede and the PDP, it still has to be analysed how much his race was affected by a headwind called Jimoh Ibrahim. For six critical weeks in the run-up to the election, Mr. Jegede gnashed his teeth in no man’s land after he was elbowed out as the candidate of the PDP by a court judgement the Appeal Court has sternly rebuked as fraudulent. While the other candidates were on the field courting the electorate and setting their nets for votes, Mr. Jegede was out in the cold baying at Mr. Ibrahim who had snatched his ticket and parading the courts for delayed help. When just two days to the election, the ticket was retrieved for him from the wily snatcher, Mr. Jegede did not know what else to do other than mount a fruitless campaign for postponement of the polls. No way the authorities would allow a family affair delay a race the community had long awaited. Now, the defeated PDP flag bearer can only rue what might have been! Still, you are not going to be proud of yourself when you cannot win even your LGA.

The-also-ran parties

Twenty eight parties presented candidates for the election. Although the media, trying to separate the men from the boys, projected a four-horse race, it turned out that only three horses actually ran to win, as Olu Agunloye of the Social Democratic Party garnered only 1.84 percent of the votes. The combined votes of all the other 24 amounted to a mere 3.47 percent! So what was their purpose on the ballot, apart from giving electoral officers clerical headache? Worse still, 16 of these parties had joined their voices with the PDP’s in calling for a postponement of the polls last week, pretending to be genuine stakeholders.

In some polities, a party or candidate has to scale some hurdles before being allowed on the ballot. This could be in the form of having their nominations endorsed by a percentage of the registered voters, or, as in the First Republic, making a deposit which they forfeit if at the end of the election they did not reach a particular threshold of the votes. May be Nigeria has to consider reintroducing something like that in the future, to weed the field. Imagine one of these parties being mistakenly left out of the ballot paper. It would have gone to court to have the entire election cancelled and repeated at great cost to everybody.

And by the way, what happened to Mr. Agunloye too? The former minister’s SDP has as its national leader, Olu Falae, an elder statesman whose chest is full of badges as a former secretary to the federal government, minister, presidential candidate of the combined forces of two major parties (AD/APP) in 1999 and an Akure monarch? Perhaps the media still has to learn how to identify paper tigers.

Finally, beware Mr. Akeredolu, speed breakers ahead!

Before Mr. Akeredolu assumes office next February, he would have to carefully ruminate on how to relate with his state Legislature that may be controlled by the vanquished PDP at least until 2019. The party has only a small majority in the House, but that is enough to make Mr. Akeredolu worry about forming his cabinet and passing his budgets. By giving control of different arms of government to different parties, Ondo voters too may need to hope that they have not inadvertently set the stage for gridlock in how their affairs will be run from next year.

Jimoh Ibrahim Congratulates Akeredolu, Mocks Mimiko.

The ousted Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ondo State, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has congratulated the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who was declared the winner of the Ondo State governorship election on Sunday.


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed on Sunday that Mr. Akeredolu won the race with 244,842 votes over PDP candidate Eyitayo Jegede’s 150,380 votes.


Mr. Ibrahim congratulated Mr. Akeredolu before he was officially declared governor-elect.


He said, “My dear egbon. Congratulations. I have computed the results sent to me from 2907 wards by my party agents across Ondo State. It shows you are leading with unrecoverable margin. I congratulate you as governor-elect of our lovely state. I will advise you quickly maintain distance from Mimiko if you want to succeed.


“I have no doubt that you will urgently create hope for our people; kindly do whatever you can to assist your lovely civil servants. I saw poverty in those villages I visited during campaign. Please kindly assist traditional rulers as much as you can.”

Tinubu speaks on Akeredolus victory in Ondo.

Former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, on Sunday congratulated Rotimi Akeredolu, the winner of the governorship election in Ondo State.

Mr. Tinubu had been opposed to Mr. Akeredolu’s emergence as candidate of their party, APC, alleging irregularities in the party’s primaries.

The former governor and his key supporters were conspicuously absent during Mr. Akeredolu’s campaign rallies.

However, on Sunday, few hours after Mr. Akeredolu was declared winner by the electoral commission, INEC, Mr. Tinubu asked party members to close ranks “for the good of our party and its progressive ideals.”

Read Mr. Tinubu’s full statement below:

Following the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with regard to the governorship elections in Ondo State, I extend congratulations to Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN. on the outcome of the election and for his perseverance and persistence in seeking that office.

I must also congratulate the people of Ondo State for their generally exemplary conduct on election day and for demonstrating their will to shun the regressive politics of yesterday by returning to the progressive brand of politics that has been the trademark of the people of that state.

I congratulate all party members in the state, particularly the party leadership in the Southwest.

Finally, I must express profound congratulations to President Muhammadu Buhari, the national leader of the party, whose stature and dignity helped guide the APC to another victory that should advance the progressive aims of the party and the people.

To all the people and parties in Ondo, your election has been had and held. Now is the time that all must work for the continued development, prosperity and peace of your state and our beloved country.

I appeal to all party members including those who have been disaffected from the primary until today to come together for the good of our party and its progressive ideals.

OndoDecides: I will not congratulate Akeredolu yet – SDP candidate, Agunloye.

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Olu Agunloye, has said he is still studying the governorship election won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Rotimi Akeredolu.


Mr. Akeredolu was on Sunday declared winner of the election with an overwhelming score of 244, 842 votes.


Mr. Agunloye came a distant fourth with just over 10,000 votes.


The head of media, Agunloye campaign organisation, Tunji Fajimbola, told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday that the candidate was not in a hurry to accept or reject the election.




“He is still studying the situation,” said Mr. Fajimbola. “It is not wise to make pronouncements in a hurry. He still has to consult with the party.”


He said it is often the best practice to congratulate the winner of any election, but noted that Mr. Agunloye would not want to hurriedly make such pronouncements, in order not to be take a position different from his party.


“Dr. Agunloye did his best to show there is an alternative to the suffering situation of the people of the state,” Mr. Fajimbola noted.




“He offered himself and did what he should do. He is still the best option, and if the people needed a person who will rescue and rebuild, he is the best option.”


Mr. Agunloye scored 10,149 to place fourth behind Olusola Oke who scored a total of 126, 889 votes.


He based his campaign on the slogan to rescue and rebuild.

Dogara, Amosun congratulate Akeredolu.

The triumph of Rotimi Akeredolu in the gubernatorial election conducted in Ondo Stateyesterday shows that the ruling All Progressives Congress remains popular, Speaker Yakubu Dogara said on Sunday.

In a congratulatory statement signed by his media adviser, Turaki Hassan, Mr. Dogara hailed Mr. Akeredolu’s victory as one for democracy.

“The election of Barrister Akeredolu and the APC in Ondo state is a clear indication of the popularity of our political party,” Mr. Dogara said. “I would like to congratulate my learned colleague on his victory at the poll, and also commend our great party, the All Progressives Congress, for a thorough and successful campaign.”

The APC seized power at the centre for the first time in the 2015 general election. However, Nigerians blamed the lingering economic crisis on the party, with many suggesting that the its popularity was waning.

Mr. Akeredolu scored 244,842 votes to defeat 27 others in the governorship election held on Saturday.

Eyitatyo Jegede of the PDP came second with 150,380 votes while Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy scored 126,889 votes to book third place, figures released by INEC returning officer, Abdul-Ganiyu Ambali, showed.

Mr. Dogara, however, noted that the victory should be seen as a call to service that both the candidate and the party must render to the residents of the state.

“As a party, we must take our victory in Ondo seriously  since  the people have placed  trust in us.  We must, therefore, deliver on policies that will improve  their standard of living.”

The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, also distributed a congratulatory message to the media on Sunday, expressing optimism that Mr. Akeredolu’s victory will usher in an unprecedented progress for Ondo State.

“This is one choice that will bring unprecedented progress, infrastructural development as well as social and economic growth to the Sunshine State,” Mr. Amosun said. “The victory of Akeredolu in the Ondo polls also portends a good omen for the collective development and progress of the South-West geopolitical zone under the progressive socio-political and economic ideals of the APC.”

The congratulatory messages came as civic groups that monitored the election gave INEC a pass mark for its overall performance.

The Situation Room, which is a coalition of several civil society organisations, said INEC recognised the task it was faced with in the run up to the polls and made adequate preparation.

“There were early distribution and deployment of personnel and materials, which led to the commencement of voting at the scheduled time of 8:00am across the state, taking cognisance of the peculiar terrain of the riverine areas of the state,” the Situation Room said in a statement signed by its director, Clement Nwankwo.

But the group also highlighted a few grey areas where INEC failed to live up to expectation, especially as concerned the use of card readers.

“However, the inability of the smart card readers to authenticate fingerprints in a large number of instances is still a sore point in election management.

“We also observed that some of the SCRs were not fully powered and lacked back up where it became necessary,” Mr. Nwankwo said.

Mr. Nwankwo praised the professionalism of security personnel deployed for the exercise, but expressed reservations about alleged failure of police leadership to provide adequate welfare for them.

“The poor welfare condition of security personnel deployed for elections has become recurring. Situation Room is again concerned that many security personnel still complained of a lack of support and welfare package, especially for those who were deployed from distant states of the federation for the election.

“Despite assurances given by the police that all police personnel had been given their entitlements while commenting on deployment for the election at the stakeholders meeting and observers briefing held in Akure, deployed police personnel lamented that this was not the case.
“We are constrained to raise concern about the minimum standards of welfare for this assignment,” Mr. Nwankwo said.

Akeredolu’s election tested APC’s unity – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on his electoral victory at the just concluded Ondo state governorship election.

The congratulatory message is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The president also congratulated the chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, the chairman of the Campaign Committee, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, and all party faithful who put in their best and braved the odds to ensure a successful outing for the flag bearer.

“Buhari rejoices with the good people of Ondo State who aligned with his own belief that Akeredolu with his pedigree possesses the qualities to transform the state into the Ondo of their dreams,” the statement said.

“From the beginning, this election set out to be a different kind of election. The unity and resilience of the party was tested. I am happy we came out of this victorious.

“This is a huge win. The mood today is against corruption, insecurity and for the restoration of the economy and the creation of jobs.

“This is where the party stands and I am happy that the electorate has read the situation correctly.”

He called on other contestants in the election to see the triumph of Mr. Akeredolu as the wish of God and enjoined them to work together with him to make “the state a truly progressive and economically prosperous one for all.”

The president commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agencies and the voters for the peaceful and successful conduct of the election.

He urged the governor-elect to put behind whatever acrimonies may have arisen from the electioneering process, and reach out to all well-meaning people in the state and beyond, to implement his vision to bring the much desired change to the people.

The president assured Nigerians that the APC-led administration under his watch was committed to playing by the rules, and there would be no let-up “until we see the great nation of our dreams in all spheres of national development.”

INEC, on Sunday, declared Mr. Akeredolu winner of the governorship poll.

Mr. Akeredolu polled 244, 842 votes to beat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 150, 380 votes.

Olusola Oke, the candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AD), scored 126, 889 to come third.

Akeredolu Accuses Oke Of Thugs Importation To Cause Violence

The Aketi Campaign Platform, the campaign group of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has raised the alarm over alleged importation of thugs from Lagos and Osun states for attacks on APC members and cause violence in the Saturday governorship election.


A statement by the spokesman of the campaign platform, Soji Alakuro, alleged that the thugs were being sponsored by Lagos and Osun governments in alleged active connivance of the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to unleash violence on Ondo State to help the candidate of the Alliance of Democracy, Olusola Oke, in the weekend governorship election.


Alakuro expressed dismay at the desperation of Lagos and Osun States’ governors in Ondo State election, wondering while the governors elected on the platform of APC would be working against their party in favour a party that had no roots and no single councilor across the country.


Akeredolu’s spokesman added that Fayose’s connection was baffling, wondering while a governor elected on the platform of PDP would abandon his party to work for the success of the opposition party in Ondo State.


Berating the three governors for their acts of desperation in Oke’s support, he said AD’s allegation of rigging against the Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Works and Power Minister, Babatunde Fasola, Kaduna Governor Nasir el-Rufai was a smokescreen to cover their alleged evil plan.


He added that the latest discovery followed alleged deployment of N10b by Lagos State government to help Oke win the election “to allow Lagos and Osun axis control the economic and political destiny of Ondo State people”.
He said: “We have it on good authority that fierce-looking thugs are being housed at Oke’s expansive home and other adjoining streets in Ijapo Estate.


“Members of the public can recollect that media reports had earlier indicated that Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State working with Fayose had earlier ferried suspected Niger Delta militants to Ekiti State during his last visit to Ondo and Ekiti states in readiness for deployment for Ondo election.


“Reports indicated that Dickson was allegedly coordinating the recruitment of the militants from the Niger Delta while Fayose is complementing this with the deployment of a factional local ethnic militia called OPC under a disguised name of ‘Vigilante’ all lodged in Ekiti State Government House for onward deployment in Ondo State to cause violence to rig election in Oke’s favour while they take over the media to turn around that APC is planning to rig.


“What the desperados are doing is called reversed psychology, where planners of evils accuse the innocent of planning evils.


“They had earlier disbursed billions of their state funds to back Oke, part of which they spent to book all the hotels in Akure to enable their thugs lodge there.”


He urged security agents to comb all hotels in the state capital to fish out the thugs that were allegedly armed to disrupt Saturday’s election “if it does not go Oke’s way”.


Assuring voters that security agents would protect them from “desperate acts of outside sponsors with the eye to control Ondo’s economy,” he charged Ondo people to resist attempt by Oke to sell Ondo State to “outside sponsors who are desperate to recoup their money through manipulation of contracts and appointments”.


Urging voters to vote for Akeredolu as “independent-minded candidate who is also sincere about the development of the state and its citizens”, Alakuro said: “Media reports as contained in Thisday newspaper of November 18, 2016 indicated that Oke has ceded the positions of the SSG, chairmanship of OSOPADEC), commissioner for finance, commissioner for works, commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, commissioner for health and the headship of Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue to his Lagos and Osun sponsors.


“Other positions ceded by Oke to Lagos and Osun in his deal with his sponsors, according to the newspaper, include six caretaker committee chairmanship positions, two per senatorial district; four special advisers, while Aregbesola’s former Special Adviser, Bola Ilori, is tipped for Secretary to State Government (SSG).


“Lagos-based chartered accountant, Mr Adebo Akinbobola, according to the report, will take the position of commissioner for finance while one Dr Taiwo Malumi is chosen by the former Lagos governor for the chairmanship of OSOPADEC.”


Warning the voters against sale into slavery, he urged them to vote for Akeredolu “who emerged as APC’s candidate through due process of people’s support” and who would work in the interest of Ondo people and not for any outside sponsors.

Governorship Battle In Ondo: How Parties, Candidates Will Perform.

Despite the call for postponement by some of the parties, the governorship election in Ondo State will hold on Saturday as scheduled. There is an increased tempo of campaigns and political activities by the various actors. The drumbeats of war are dying down. The candidates are reaching out. And as the Election Day draws near, the candidates and their parties are becoming even more conscious that the voter armed with his voter card is king.

So much has gone into preparations for the elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said on Tuesday that all was set for the exercise. According to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, all the sensitive and non-sensitive materials are on ground for the election. “Ad-hoc staff have been trained, stakeholders have been sensitized and security has been mobilized.”

The race is now before the candidates, whose only goal is to win and become the next governor of Ondo State. Having emerged from their respective party primaries as victors, they are prepared to test their popularity among the electorates whose votes would determine their fate on Saturday.

About 28 political parties and their candidates are standing for the coming election. However, only four of the parties have shown seriousness in the race. This informed the invitation of only four candidates for the Ondo 2016 governorship debate which held in Akure on Monday. The candidates are Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress, APC; Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy, AD; Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and Olu Agunloye of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.


Three of the four parties, PDP APC and AD, had entered the race for Alagbaka from controversial primaries and prolonged litigations. While the APC and the AD appeared to have managed to quell the legal storms that rocked their political campaigns, the PDP’s troubles have failed to abate. The SDP, which held a modest primary, had Agunloye without any contention.

The September 3 primaries of the APC was destined for tribulations. It began its faulty march to the election with so many candidates showing interest in the ticket. Then came the endorsement of Olusegun Abraham, one of the aspirants, by a national leader, Bola Tinubu. The crisis started. It spilled over into the primaries and with allegations of fraud and doctoring of the delegates’ list, the APC was no longer a home at ease with itself. Mr. Abraham, the runner up, went to court and he is still in court, but Mr. Oke left for the AD. Ajayi Boroffice, who did not leave the party, had become withdrawn, after reaching a truce with Mr. Akeredolu to halt hostilities. But the decision of the party to have Mr. Akeredolu fly its flag stood.

Mr. Oke’s trip to the AD met with a legal backlash, as some of the old members of the party refused to recognize him as the party’s candidate. A youth group within the party protested his entrance and sudden emergence as the candidate of the party after replacing Akin Olowookere, who was earlier picked as the candidate. A youth group in the party questioned the decision of the leadership to circumvent the process of membership of the party in admitting Oke. The party’s legal adviser, Kehinde Aworele, went to court to seek the nullification of the candidature of Mr. Oke on the grounds that he was not properly elected as the flag bearer of the party. His sojourn in the courts came to an end recently when he was prevailed upon by the elders of the party to let peace rain. The legal adviser has since joined in the campaigns for the man he rejected initially.

The PDP is currently embroiled in legal intra party conflict which has distorted its hitherto smooth-sailing campaigns. Two factions of the party laid claims to the ticket to run for the office. The Ahmed Makarfi faction in the state is led by the governor, Olusegun Mimiko, and is the most formidable and better organised. It produced Eyitayo Jegede as its candidate. The Ali Sheriff camp, chaired in the state by Biyi Poroye, successfully elected businessman Jimoh Ibrahim as its candidate for the governorship election. Confident that it had followed all due process in compliance with the Electoral Act, the Makarfi group submitted Mr. Jegede’s name to INEC as the authentic candidate for the party. However a High Court decision changed that status quo as Jimoh Ibrahim became the candidate of the party. This development sucked out the steam off the campaign of Mr. Jegede, who had started his run earlier than the rest of them. He rode on the wings of the state government as the anointed of the government and governor, Mr. Mimiko.  His campaign train thinned out as the legal tussle to reclaim his place on the INEC list of candidates lasted.

Mr. Jegede through the ordeal, although relocated to Abuja to focus on the legal battle, continued to reach his supporters through radio jingles. He had no time for large rallies and city-to-city rides, to assure the people to vote for the PDP. A strong supporter of Mr. Eyitayo’s PDP, Moses Adekunle, had complained that the fears within his camp are that should the people vote for the PDP and the court fails to deliver judgment in his favour, the unintended outcome of a Jimoh Ibrahim governorship, would, as he said, “inflict pain and hardship” on the people of the state. Some of his supporters had moved to other parties. Yet others sat on the fence, hoping that a favourable judgment few days to the election could reignite the Eyitayo movement and rally him to victory. That judgement came from the Appeal Court on Wednesday and INEC has since restated that Mr. Jegede is PDP candidate.



Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, born 60 years ago in Owo, the northern senatorial district of Ondo State, is a legal luminary, whose tenure as President of the Nigeria Bar Association marked him out as an activist committed to the wellbeing of the common man.


The Senior Advocate of Nigeria was a member of the Legal Aid Council from 1989 to 1991 and became its Chairman in 2005. He was a member of the Governing Council, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies between 2008 and 2010, a member of Council of Legal Education, a member of Council, International Bar Association and Pan African Lawyers Union during the same period. He currently serves as NBA representative in the National Judicial Council, NJC.
Mr. Akeredolu was the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2012 election. He is a greatly misunderstood character in the Ondo political landscape. He, however, enjoys the support of the leadership of the APC in Abuja. This factor informs the audacity of his supporters. Mr. Akeredolu and the APC in the state are wooing the people with the benefits of bringing Ondo State to the mainstream politics, promising developmental projects from Abuja. President Buhari has been part of the campaign and his presence is thought to possess the ability to sway votes in Mr. Akeredolu’s favour.

Some voters who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES said they are not sure if the Buhari factor would have any effect on the decisions of many of the electorates, in the midst of the ongoing recession, hardship and unpaid salaries, largely blamed on the president’s inability to turn the economy around for the better.

Mr. Akeredolu is largely popular in Owo and other parts of the northern senatorial district. But he has an albatross in the rising profile of Olu Agunloye, who appears to be the weeping boy among the four major candidates in the contest. Mr. Agunloye of the SDP is also from Akoko, in the north. Those in the central zone are still holding on to Eyitayo Jegede. Now that Jegede is back in the fray, Mr. Akeredolu may have problems with garnering enough votes in the central zone to guarantee his victory.

Mr. Akeredolu is still being hunted by the split that occurred at the party primary where he emerged as the candidate of the party. Three of the contestants who were runners up in the exercise had opposed his election. Mr. Tinubu known for his sweeping influence in the south west, has also refused to reconcile his interest with the candidate, choosing to stay away from his campaign. He had not hidden his opposition to Mr. Akeredolu and he is believed to be backing the protests against him from within.

Aspirants Abraham and Borrofice, believed to be allies of Mr. Tinubu, although still in the party, refused to identify with Mr. Akeredolu in his campaign to win the election. They refused to appear in any of the rallies along with other aspirants.

They were also absent at the meeting the other defeated aspirants had with President Muhammadu Buhari last Saturday in Akure. This negative signals point to the rumoured  anti-party posture of the aggrieved aspirants. The attendant rifts and conflicts would appear to have weakened the party, coupled with fractionalization and a gale of defections to other parties.

Other political parties have voiced their fears that the election may be rigged in his favour using the federal might. But if the pledge of the police and the INEC to ensure transparent, free and fair election on Saturday is anything to go by, then Mr. Akeredolu will need to do more than the anti-corruption campaign to curtail the rising popularity of Olusola Oke, who could be his major threat to clinching the trophy of Alagbaka.


Olusola Oke, a native of Ilowo, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, is a lawyer by profession, having been called to bar in 1987. He has held several positions in the Ondo State government before he was elected a member of the House of Representatives (Ese-Odo federal constituency) in 1992 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.


In 1999, he was appointed a member of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to represent Ondo State. He was appointed the Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, OSOPADEC. He is a one-time National Legal Adviser of the PDP. He contested the 2012 governorship election under the PDP and lost to the incumbent governor who was then in Labour Party. His sojourn in the PDP followed the failure of Goodluck Jonathan to return as President in 2015. He had complained of the discomfort created by the defection of Mr. Mimiko to the party, which resulted in realignments and power blocs within the party.

Mr. Oke left the PDP for the APC. However, after the APC’s controversial primaries where he came a close third, he joined the AD.

He began his campaign on a wobbling note because his new party lacked structures and personalities to help drive and sell his candidature. It is believed by many that with the support of Bola Tinubu and his allies, his campaigns have risen in strength and lengths to endear him to the people of the state. This is buttressed by the fact that a loyalist of Mr. Tinubu, Bola Ilori, a leading politician in Ondo West, where Mr. Mimiko hails from, is the Director General of the Oke Campaign Organisation.

The colourful billboards and large banners found nearly in all the nooks and crannies of the state, coupled with the huge crowd he is able to mobilise at his different rallies, suggest that his campaign is well funded. Mr. Oke himself has denied the allegation that he was receiving funding from Mr. Tinubu for his campaign.

“Tinubu is in the APC and I am in the AD, our paths do not cross and he cannot be funding my election,” Mr. Oke said, while responding to a question at the governorship debate on Monday. The fact is that Mr. Oke has risen from a struggling candidate in the race to a strong force in the entire equation. This is due largely to the dwindling fortunes of the PDP.

Politically, the southern senatorial district, which is his traditional home, is a PDP stronghold. He is now faced with the trouble of sharing the votes in the region with the wounded Mr. Jegede backed by the incumbent Governor Mimiko. Several people believe that Mr. Oke stood no chance of winning the region with the Mimiko factor. It is, however, arguable that Mr. Oke would take the misfortunes that befell the PDP to take adequate control of the area before Mr. Jegede fully bounces back to reckoning.

His new following in the south also results from the fact that he is traditionally a PDP person, who only left the party to actualise his dreams to become the governor of the state.

With his state wide political structures and financial resources available to prosecute the governorship race, the 60-year-old politician has a brighter chance of emerging victorious at the polls on Saturday. However, he has the formidable force of APC’s Mr. Akeredolu and a wounded Mr. Jegede to contend with. Going past Mr. Akeredolu at the polls could be Mr. Oke’s major task.


Olu Agunloye hails from Erusu-Akoko. He emerged the governorship candidate of the SDP for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State through a party primary where he was the only aspirant. However, his candidacy was endorsed by 291 of the 310 delegates from the 18 LGAs of the state.


He was also the pioneer Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC. He is a former minister of power under the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. Before then he had had a stint in the academia and distinguished himself as a scholar.

His campaign has been well articulated and his messages straight to the point with the view to change the political thinking of the Ondo voters who are inundated with the trends of money politics and corruption. His plan to develop the state through industrial revival has been considered well proposed and realizable.

But his performance at the polls on Saturday could be affected by the fact that the SDP is weak in the state. Except Olu Falae, the national leader of the party, whose name came up on the list of beneficiaries of the Dasukigate, the party lacks other prime movers who could give it the tonic to woo voters.

His record of changing parties, especially his defection from LP to ACN and back to LP shortly before and after the 2012 governorship election in the state, respectively, has been seen as another weak point.

The obvious lack of funding of the Agunloye campaign when compared with the three other contending parties is likely going to adversely affect the number of votes that would be registered against his name. This is because of the mindset of people who would follow only those who are willing to part with a lot of money.

His media aide, Tunde Fajimbola, however, said his lack of funds should be a strength rather than weakness.

“People should know that if it is said that he doesn’t have money, it means that when he was minister of the federal republic of Nigeria, he did not steal, or he is so generous that he did not have so much savings to prosecute the election in the way others are doing,” Mr. Fajimbola said.

However, his choice of a female deputy governorship aspirant and his style of going from door to door to humbly woo voters are his strongest points. He certainly lags behind the APC and the AD candidates ahead of the election on Saturday.


Mr. Jegede, a legal practitioner, is the immediate past Commissioner for Justice and  Attorney General of the state.


After graduating from the University of Lagos in 1983 and called to bar in 1984, he was counsel with the law firm of Murtala Aminu and Co, Yola, in the then Gongola State and served there for 12 years before setting up his law firm, Tayo Jegede and Co with offices in Yola and Abuja in 1996.

He was appointed a Notary Public by the Chief Justice of Nigeria in 1992 and was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on December 16, 2008. He was deeply and actively involved in political cases and election petition matters, an area of law where his industry and practice is noted and respected.

Mr. Jegede, is a member of the Council of Legal Education in Nigeria, the body responsible for setting standards for legal education in Nigeria.

He emerged as candidate in the primary election conducted by the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party with little or no resistance, as the incumbent governor, Olusegun Mimiko, had paved the way for a smooth ride for him to take the ticket. A parallel primary by the Ali Sheriff-led faction shortly after, challenged his legitimacy as the party’s candidate.

His name remained on the list of chosen candidates for the election until October 27, when INEC published the final list of candidates, as his name was substituted with Mr. Ibrahim’s on the order of a Federal High Court in Abuja. In the last 25 days, Mr. Jegede’s campaign which had lighted the entire state with colour and fanfare, was drowned in the noise of legal battles. To many of his admirers and party officials, all was over for him, as Jimoh Ibrahim held on to the ticket through legal manipulations. The Appeal Court judgment on Wednesday was a final breather for the candidate. He is now back as the authentic candidate of the PDP in the Saturday election.

But the campaigns are no longer where he left off. His campaign train was the first to hit the streets of Akure and its environs and was prepared for every battle. The governor and commissioners were all out campaigning and wooing voters for him. Many people liked him and his handsome  and gentle looks cut him out as governor to be loved. Then the crisis began.

The Publicity Director of the PDP, Ayodele Fadaka, admitted that some party persons left following him while the case in  court lasted.

“Grounds have been lost and we are calling on those who were misled to return so we can recover outperform lost grounds to ensure victory on Saturday,” he said.

The Governor of neighbouring Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, whose comments reflected the sorry state of the Eyitayo campaign, said “This is not the best of times for the PDP, it is not the best of times for the judgment.” His conclusion was that a postponement was necessary to allow the PDP campaign in Ondo State be put back on track for it to perform well on Saturday.

While in court, Mr. Jegede retained his radio and television jingles and got some persons to move around the towns distributing his posters and rallying support for him. As Mr. Fadaka said, the campaign structure was not dismantled altogether.

He would have to rely heavily on the machinery of the Mimiko administration to kick-start his campaign which has less than 48 hours to catch up with that of Messrs. Oke and Akeredolu. His chances of emerging victorious in the polls have been narrowed by his party’s crisis and sadly too his enemies are unrelenting.


The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, has assured that the next governor of Ondo State will only be determined by Ondo State voters.

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has also reassured that the election on Saturday will be transparent and credible. If the two crucial agencies act based on their pledges, which by implication means they would be neutral and not rig the election in favour of any candidate, then the voter can certainly cast his vote on Saturday with the confidence that only the popular candidate will win.

This is the only guarantee for peace when the new governor is eventually announced.

Ondo Election: ”Jegede is no longer a factor in this election” – Akeredolu

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu in his reaction to Eyitayo Jegede’s victory at the appeal court said he can defeat both PDP factional candidates.

After a meeting with President Buhari, Akeredolu told Channels Television, ”The election is already settled. I don’t see any problem. I have alsways said that even if both of them [Jegede and Ibrahim] run, i’ll defeat them.”

”Jegede is no longer a factor in this election. There is nothing anybody can do, the election is this Saturday, and there is nothing they can do any longer. There is no problem at all. Just that they are throwing spanner in the works of the PDP. I don’t think PDP has a part in this election”.

Ondo 2016: Suit challenging Akeredolu’s APC candidacy stalled

The absence of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba has stalled hearing in a suit challenging the candidature of Rotimi Akeredolu as the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the November 26 Ondo State Governorship Election.


Olusegun Abraham, a stalwart of the APC in Ondo, filed the suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, on the ground that the process that produced Mr. Akeredolu was illegal.


Mr. Abraham alleged that the process that produce the defendant as the governorship candidate was not in conformity with the law.


He also joined the APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as defendants.


The suit is also seeking an interim order to restrain the APC from parading Mr. Akeredolu as its governorship candidate, and restrain Mr. Akeredolu from parading himself as such pending the determination of the motion.


At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, officials of the court informed parties to the suit that the judge was ill and unable to attend the day’s sitting.


Consequently, lawyers representing both parties picked December 6 as the next adjourned date for hearing of the case.


Justice Dimgba at the last sitting on November 10 had adjourned hearing of other motions in the suit till November 23.

APC/PDP: A 3rd political force is about to be born. – Jude Egbas

A new political party which will aim to wrest control of the polity from the duo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) is on its way, various sources privy to the development told Pulse last weekend.

“That political party will be such a strong force and it’s one Nigerians will immediately embrace”, once source revealed to this medium over Pizza on a sunny afternoon in the nation’s commercial capital of Lagos.

Various other political heavyweights in the country have revealed to Pulse that an alignment and realignment of political forces in the nation is currently underway.

“Meetings are being held in the major cities in each geopolitical zone and very soon, we’ll have that party”, one prominent politician in the South West, told Pulse.

PDP supporters protesting in Ondo state

“We just held one of our meetings in Lagos last week and we’ve been holding series of these kinds of meetings as we try to put this political party together”, added the prominent politician who’s been part of these gatherings at the highest levels.

Some of the chaps floating this new political party disclosed to Pulse that they’ll be capitalizing on the poor performance of the APC at the center to make their case before Nigerians.

It’s a strategy they are hoping can be pulled off.

“As you are aware, the APC at the center has been struggling with the economy”, said one Northern politician who spoke to Pulse over the phone. “If things continue the way there are, well into 2017; and given the type of manifesto and programs we’ll present to Nigerians; given the pedigree of the politicians who’ll be selling this party to Nigerians, I can tell you that we’ll displace APC at the center come 2019”, he added confidently.

Tinubu and Oyegun

Some of the politicians spoken to for this story, would not reveal to Pulse the identity of the heavyweights behind this ‘third force’, except to say that the new party will be run by upwardly mobile and young politicians; some of whom are no strangers to the nation’s topsy-turvy political terrain.

“We’ll be a party of the young and old. Unlike the APC and PDP, we’ll actually allow younger Nigerians have a say in the affairs of our party. In the first quarter of 2017, Nigerians will be proud to have a party they can call theirs,” offered another politician.

It also looks like a pretty good time to usher in another political party— with the APC and PDP battling different forms of internal crises.

Bola Tinubu (L) and President Buhari (R)

APC heads into the Ondo governorship election, not throwing its full weight behind standard bearer, Oluwarotimi Akerodolu.

Indeed, APC leader and strongman of South West politics, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is no fan of Akerodolu.

Tinubu’s candidate for the election, Olusegun Abraham lost out in the party primaries.

So miffed was Tinubu about not having his way in Ondo, the Jagaban of Borgu called on APC Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun to throw in the towel for allegedly rigging the primary contest in Akerodolu’s favour.

All Progressives Congress (APC) Leader, Bola Tinubu (L) and Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar (R).

Tinubu’s letter was so scathing and vitriolic, Oyegun needed a few more days to pen his response.

Grapevine reports suggest that Tinubu will be pulling the rug from under the APC’s feet by no longer bankrolling the party he helped forge together.

Last weekend, a few loyalists of Tinubu’s took to the streets to say the Buhari Presidency has treated the former Lagos Governor badly in spite of all he’s done for the party.

“The man that started the whole revolution (Tinubu) is now being rubbished because of the inordinate ambition of very few members of the party. They want to destroy the party and that is why we are concerned about what is going on. If we allow a few people to truncate what we fought for, then the promise made to Nigerians would not be fulfilled”, lamented Henry Ajomale who is the APC Chairman in Lagos.

Olusola Oke who is flying the flag of the AD in the Ondo governorship election, is now assured Tinubu’s support, sources close to The Jagaban have told Pulse.

Chief Olusola Oke


Oke’s social media campaign has since been taken over by a crop of young men and women who swear by Tinubu.

Tinubu was also ominously absent during the campaign launch of the APC in Ondo–a move that political pundits have linked to the man’s growing desire to severe ties with his party, at least behind the scenes.

“He’s no longer playing an active role in the APC”, said one APC chieftain who craved anonymity for this story. “First, his candidate, James Faleke was badly treated in Kogi and you all saw what happened in Ondo. If Tinubu can no longer have a say in how the APC is run, he’d better keep his distance”, the chieftain lamented.

Ali Modu Sheriff (L) and Ahmed Makarfi (R)

The PDP isn’t faring any better. It has paraded two chairmen in Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff, since the turn of the year.  It went into the Edo governorship contest with two candidates before eventually settling for one on the eve of voting; and it is playing a similar, disoriented card as it heads into the Ondo governorship election.

It is this disharmony in the two biggest political camps in the country, which the incoming ‘third force’ intends to latch on into reckoning.

The ‘third force’ guys think they are savvy enough to spot a fertile political field when they see one.

And at this stage, all bets are off.

Why Buhari, Osinbajo were absent from Akeredolu’s rally – APC

The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State says President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, were absent at its governorship rally due to urgent national matters they had to attend to.


APC governorship rally in the state kicked off yesterday at the Democracy Park in Akure, the state capital at about 11am but the President, his Vice and some top-shots of the party were noticeably absent from the event.


The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Adesanya, while explaining the absence of the President, however, announced that Buhari would be in the State for the grand finale of the campaign, scheduled for November 19.


He said, “The President and the Vice President had an emergency state matter they had to attend to and so could not turn up.”


Also absent at the event was a National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, but his media team while explaining, said the former Lagos State Governor was currently not in the country.

The Cable: What’s happening in Ondo State?

It was amusing seeing the pictures of Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the Presidential Villa last Friday. Not that he does not have the right to visit the president; he does, particularly with our warped federal structure wherein states are more of appendages than federating units. But his reason for the visit was funny, to say the least. The visit was like pounding on anvil that gave off no sparks, especially with his request that the president intervenes in the raging fire in Ondo State.

Mimiko is an astute politician, a great mobiliser of people and resources towards a particular goal. One does not fight former president Olusegun Obasanjo politically and beat him if he is not a strong politician and maybe only him and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, have been able to dust the ebora Owu on the political field while he held sway between 1999 and 2007. A former minister told the story of how they were unable to persuade Mimiko not to leave the federal cabinet in order to become the Ondo governor, why leaving for uncertainty, they asked him. Iroko, as he is known, however, stuck to his guns and resigned as housing minister to contest the April 14, 2007 elections. He recalled how Obasanjo was apoplectic with rage at the cabinet meeting where Mimiko tendered his resignation letter threatening that he would ‘deal with him’ but Iroko kept quiet.

A colleague who covered the governorship election for a foreign broadcast organisation spoke of how Mimiko was well loved by the people that everywhere he went with his crew, they saw how difficult it would be for the late Segun Agagu to beat him. Incredibly, INEC declared Agagu the winner but Mimiko went to court and on February 23, 2009, the Appeal Court ruled that he was the winner paving the way for him to become the first and only Labour Party member to win a gubernatorial election in our country. He assumed office the next day. On October 2, 2014 he switched to PDP after securing another term and thereby becoming the first governor in the state history to win a second term. So, as we say in Nigeria, ‘he is very much on the ground.’

But how did the 62-year old medical doctor find himself in a political mess that he has to seek refuge from a president he barely tolerates? What happened that his anointed candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, a senior advocate, did not foresee the legal landmines and thereby prepare well on how to navigate such? How come the hunter is now the hunted?  More annoyingly, the ‘PDP candidate’ recognized by INEC is a corporate undertaker with many companies or corporations dying under his watch than surviving. And that’s where INEC comes into the picture. It is interesting that the electoral body, which recognized the Ahmed Makarfi faction before the Edo State governorship election, decided not to recognize it now. Though there is the other matter that it was the state executive that Mimiko allegedly sidelined before the primaries that has been recognized now by INEC. An important observation, however, is that what do we make of INEC’s presence at the primary where Jegede emerged? On what basis was the attendance if that faction was not authentic?

Too often we do not focus on two critical players in our democratic journey as a country, INEC and the judiciary. As a country, we place so much emphasis on election that governance suffers because of it. While no one knows how the saga involving our judges will end, it is instructive that electoral victories are won in courts now more than at polling booths. What is INEC doing wrongly that candidates are seemingly more interested in going to courts after elections? Even while violence should be condemned emphatically, INEC should not push citizens into thinking it is an option. By the way, whatever happened to some withheld results after the Rivers State election by INEC? Some judgments too are baffling that even lawyers are confused on the reasoning behind them, much more disconcerting are even the judgments of the highest court in the land.

Good enough that there is an appeal on this issue but what happens if the court does not rule in favour of the Iroko faction? That’s why we should all be worried about the protests rocking the Ondo State capital. Dissent remains an integral part of democracy, but violence should be abhorred. Citizens should be free to make their grievances known in orderly and peaceful manner without killing. There’s still the unresolved matter of the accusation leveled against INEC by Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim wherein he said that some officials of the electoral body demanded for a bribe from him in foreign currency, I think that’s worth probing. It may be that it played a role in what is happening in Ondo State presently.

How Ondo APC primary election was ‘rigged’ – Akinyelure

ALL Progressives Congress (APC) National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Chief Pius Akinyelure, has explained how the party’s governorship primary was manipulated, culminating in the submission of Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate.

Akinyelure, in a statement, named the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, National Secretary Mai Mala Buni and the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, as the persons behind the act.

The statement, which the APC National Vice Chairman said enjoys the support of six National Working Committee (NWC) members, accused the trio of using NWC meetings to usurp powers and unilaterally take decisions that their offices did not give them the power to take.

It emerged that as many as three delegates’ lists for the election were in circulation at some point after the first list was tampered with.

Izunaso, according to the statement, single-handedly removed, added or substituted names on the initial list circulated to the party’s 24 aspirants, leading to the emergence of a second list that was altered in favour of Akeredolu.

His action enjoyed the support of Oyegun and Buni, even when other members of the NWC opposed it because it conflicted with the party’s rules.

Akinyelure’s statement reads: “The National Organising Secretary confirmed to the NWC meeting of Monday September 19, 2016 that he actually received objections from some of the aspirants as to the delegates’ list. Then he unilaterally made the adjustments as he deemed fit.

“It is emphasised that the National Organising Secretary performed these adjustments without recourse or reference to the NWC. The NWC was not appraised of his actions before the primary. The National Organising Secretary then issued this altered list to the Primary Election Committee for use in the conduct of the election.

“This altered list became available to some of the aspirants in the early hours of the election day (September 3, 2016). When the election process was about to commence, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and three other aspirants protested and raised objections as to the delegates’ list to the election committee.

“However, the committee members could not address it as it was not within their competence to do so. They went ahead with the conduct of the election. After the declaration of the results of the election by the election committee, three aspirants petitioned the Election Appeal Committee, alleging discrepancies and the alteration of the delegates’ list provided to them by the election committee and other irregularities.

“Consequent on the above, the NWC of the party received both the Election Committee and the Election Appeal Committee’s reports, which were tabled at the NWC meeting of Monday, September 19, 2016.”

A decision by the NWC to submit the name of an interim substitute to INEC as place holder until a fresh primary was conducted suffered a setback after Oyegun, Buni and Izunaso “blindsided the other members to submit Akeredolu’s name in spite of a six to five votes in favour of presenting the substitute name”.