Dr. Olusegun Mimiko
By James Sowole
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has certified candidates of 12 political parties and their running mates fit for the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State.
Among those cleared are: the incumbent governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Chief Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The list, released by INEC, indicated that three women emerged as running mates, while the ACN Secretary in the state, Mr Olutope Adedipe, was named as Akeredolu’s running mate.
Adedipe, a lawyer, hails from Akure in the Ondo Central Senatorial District.
However, it was learnt that he might not eventually run with Akeredolu during the election as his name was sent to INEC as a stopgap to enable the party to meet the deadline on the submission of candidates’ names and their running mates.
THISDAY checks revealed that the issue of who will be Akeredolu’s running mate contributed to the delay in sending the ACN candidate’s name to INEC, leading to rumoured fears last week that ACN had no candidate for the election.
Media aide to the ACN candidate, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, told THISDAY last week that under the Electoral Act as amended, parties have the right to substitute the name of their candidates within 14 days after the expiration of the deadline.
In the election, according to the list from INEC, Mimiko will be running with his current deputy, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, while Oke is pairing Mr. Saka Lawal, a former ACN governorship candidate who defected to the PDP after losing his bid to vie on the party’s ticket to Akeredolu.
Other parties on the list are: the Allied Congress Party (ACP) with Adeuti Taye as the governorship candidate and Tolupe Clement as his running mate; the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has Mr. Adeyemi Bolarinwa as governorship candidate and Ikwuewumi Rotimi listed as his running mate; while Mr. Ayodele Olusegun was named as the governorship candidate of the Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) with Mrs. Ijitola Modupe as his running mate.
The Change Advocacy Party (CAP) is fielding Mr. Omoyele Olorunwa as its governorship candidate and Mr. Babatunde Bidemi, his running mate; Mr. Olusoji Ehinlanwo is the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), with Mrs Oluyemi Damilola as his running mate while the National Conscience Party (NCP) has Mr. Oladipo Lawrence as its candidate and Mrs. Ogbetor Benedicta as his running mate.
The others are: Abikanlu James Olusola of the National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP) as governorship candidate with Adefila Olusegun Cornelius as his running mate, while the duo of Victor Oluwaremi Adetusin and Mr. Moses Iorsheer made the list for the People for Democratic Change (PDC) as governorship candidate and running mate respectively.
The INEC also cleared Mr. Omoregha Olatunji as candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) with Alonge Ahmed as his running mate.