In preparation for the October 20 governorship election of Ondo State, the three major political parties contesting the election, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the ruling Labour Party (LP) yesterday ratified their candidates for the election.
Incumbent governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, was returned by the Labour Party as its candidate in the election as he emerged the party’s flagbearer unopposed after his major challenger, Ade Ogunjumelo, stepped down from the race to pave the way for Mimiko at the primaries election held in Akure Saturday.
The congresses of the parties were held simultaneously in the three different locations in Akure, the state capital amidst tight security provided by the men of the Nigeria Police and the State Security Services.
In all the congresses, parties’ members and leaders conducted themselves in an orderly manner with representatives of the national secretariat of the three political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in attendance.
Two of the three parties, the PDP and the LP announced names of the candidates’ running mates with only ACN yet to name its deputy governorship candidate.
While the incumbent deputy governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi , was retained by the LP, Mr Saka Lawal, who was until recent time a gubernatorial aspirant of the ACN from the Ondo North, was picked as running mate.
The initial plan of the LP was to conduct its primary until Mr Francis Ogunjumelo who had obtained nomination form against Mimiko later announced at the State Cultural Centre, venue of the congress, that he had withdrawn from the race in the interest of the party.
Speaking after the exercise, a cross section of the LP members declared that it could not have been otherwise since both Nigerians and foreigners have continued to applaud the uncommon achievements of Mimiko’s administration in various spheres of human endeavours in the past three and a half years in office.