|Ondo Election: ……is Mimiko coasting to victory? |
Ayodele Samuel, Akure
If the forth coming Ondo gubernatorial is to be judge by crowds witness at various political rallies by political parties in the state, Labour Party (LP) Candidate and incumbent Governor Olusegun Mimiko might few steps away from victory.
Mimiko endorsement for another term cut across political boundaries and ideologies , from chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Community Based organization and several Civil Societies had openly declared their support for Iroko, as he's fondly call.
Mimiko recently while expressing confidence that the people will vote for him in the October 20 governorship election based on his track record of performance and longstanding relationship with them.
Mimiko who spoke at his hometown in Ondo during one of its overcrowded mega campaign tour of the ancient city said that he was the most qualified amongst all the contenders for the position having identified with the people, worked for them and above all having brought the State on the path to sustainable development as Governor.
The Governor also described the two opposition candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Olusola Oke and Rotimi Akeredolu respectively as not only political neophytes but strangers and stooges of political godfathers only out to milk the state of its resources.
"The people of Ondo State will vote for me because they know me and I live with them. In the last three and a half years, we have been working for the people and we have delivered on our electioneering promises. If you vote for me again, I will continue to work for you. You all know me, I am not a stranger in your midst; I have been your commissioner and when I was your commissioner, I did well for you; I was your Secretary to State Government (SSG); when I was SSG, I did well for you. I was a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and when I was there, I did well for you so you all know my antecedents unlike some people who want to now govern you out of the blues," Mimiko said.
"Let me ask the people of Ondo State: Is it a governor you want or a district officer? If the answer is yes, that you want a real governor as I can hear say; then cast your votes for me on October 20 because I am one of you.
"Because you know me; because I have always worked for you; because my heart is with you, I won't take your money abroad. Rather, I will use your money to work for you so that hunger, want, deprivation will be banished from our land. "
While Residents of about100 coastal communities, mainly oil-producing areas in the State, joined by artisans and local traders has vowed to work assiduously for the re-election of Mimiko.
The state representative on the governing council of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Dele Omogbemi said the entire oil-producing communities in the state would work for the victory of the governor in the forthcoming election so that the laudable programmes designed for the people in the area would not be abandoned
While Action Congress of Nigeria Governor, Edo State Comrade Adams Oshiomole had said "Unlike other Governors, Governor Mimiko and myself, giving the circumstances of our assumption of office, the whole of the people of Nigeria look up to us for a change and I am happy that here in Ondo State, Governor Mimiko is making a difference. He is showing that there are Governors and there are Governors. I think Mimiko has more than justify the sacrifices made by your people in defense of the popular mandate. In Ondo State, we have seen Governance in action. This is Governance working according to the wishes of the people. He has shown that in democracy, only the people matters."
The Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), and CPC chieftain Pastor Tunde Bakare on his part said "Mimiko has taken care of the needs of the Ondo grassroots people as Mimiko and the Labour Party have demonstrated that they have the capacity to give dividends of democracy to the people in the grassroots.The governor has discharged his responsibilities well and deserved a second tenure. I do not speak for any political party. It is time people know that leadership is not by might or inheritance but by living right as Mimiko has done. This is not about political party but performance. If every state in Nigeria works like Mimiko and Fashola of Lagos, the nation will change. I only met Mimiko for 10 minutes during the presidential election campaign in 2011, saying the endorsement was a support to good governance. Members of the Save Nigeria Group that are on ground assessing the performance of governors in all the states have attested to Mimiko's performance." I therefore advise the Ondo electorates to be vigilant and to defend their votes against rigging or any form of electoral manipulations"
While an Abuja based opinion and survey agency, Pollstar, however predicted that the candidate for the PDP, Chief Olusola Oke, maintained his leading position over the other candidates, Pollstar Executive Director (Special Projects), Mr. Obi Benedict Ekene said "Oke for the third consecutive week, topped the chart with 29.5 per cent with the Labour Party candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, in the second position with 21 per cent while the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, came third with 19 per cent.