Governor, Olusegun Mimiko
James Sowole in Akure and Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja
Mimiko is sitting on a thin mandate
The Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural Group, Afenifere, yesterday described the outcome of last Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State as a signal of the imminent death of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the South-west geo-political zone.
This came as the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) yesterday said the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, was sitting on a thin mandate following the number of votes that gave him victory during the election.
The group’s position was expressed in congratulatory letter sent to Mimiko saying the results of the poll showed that Yoruba people were tired of the ACN and would be ready to kick them out at the appropriate time.
In the letter titled Afenifere salutes Mr. Governor and wishes him well and signed by the leader and secretary of the association, Chiefs Reuben Fasoranti and Seinde Arogbofa respectively, the group said Mimiko’s victory at the poll was a testimony that people of the zone were tired of politicalgod-fatherism.
“We need to remind you that this victory, amongst other things, is victory over god-fatherism, a rejection of political imposition and slavery from outside the state and the people’s hope of a better deal to come.
“One or two of your predecessors in office as governor of Ondo State have one way or the other broken the jinx of second term in office. But yours is unique and not associated with rancour or political upheaval. We appreciate God for you,” Afenifere stated.
However, the group advised Mimiko to justify the confidence given to him by the electorate through aggressive attack on graduate and able bodied joblessness, consolidation of social services to the people and the multiplication of same to those who are yet to benefit from the government largess.
TMG said that there was voters’ apathy in the last Saturday’s gubernatorial election which returned Mimiko as the governor of the state.
In its preliminary report of the election presented to journalists in Abuja, the group stated that less that one sixth of the voting population in the state voted for the Labour Party’s candidate, Mimiko.
According to the report read by TMG’s publicity Secretary, Eddy Ezurike, Mimiko secured only 260, 199 out of the 1,638950 registered voters.
Ezurike stated that less than half of the registered voters for the election were accredited for the polls, while the number of valid votes was 594,199 with 30, 415 votes invalidated.
“The number of persons who actually participated in the determination of who should manage the affairs of the state was only slightly above a third of the registered voters, in the final event, the declared winner of the election, incumbent governor Olusegun Mimiko secure victory on the basis of just 260, 199 votes, 41.67% of valid votes, and less tha one sixth of the registered voters,” he said.
Although, TMG commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the improvement in its conduct, common lapses such as, late arrival of electoral officers and materials, insufficient electoral materials, vote buying and ballot snatching were observed during the election.
TMG however stated that the lapses observed in the election does not significantly affect the election results.
“TMG is of the preliminary opinion that the Ondo state gubernatorial election of October 20th was generally well executed and that tha lapses and malpractice witnessed, while disturbing, did not significantly affects it outcome,” he concluded.