Governor Olusegun Mimiko
1. Mimiko’s Challenge
The Ondo gubernatorial election has been won and lost; won by incumbent Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party who has been given another four years in office and lost of course by Chief Olusola Oke of PDP, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of ACN and about 10 other candidates, fringe candidates as it were. Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for Iroko, as Mimiko is called, from left, right and centre. One particular message is, however, instructive. It came from former Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja. While congratulating Mimiko, Ladoja, the Accord Party leader in Oyo State, called attention to the fact that a third force is gradually emerging in the South-west region. Third force? After ACN and PDP I guess. But some are almost sure that with his victory at the recent election, it’s just a matter of time for Mimiko to return to PDP where he had been Secretary to a state government (Ondo) and minister (Housing and Urban Development) in Abuja. But I think the outcome of the October 20 election could only mean one thing: the people of Ondo believe in Mimiko and his policies, have shown solidarity with him and are gradually throwing him up as their political icon. Will he abandon that high pedestal where the people have placed him by going back to the platform he once repudiated? Or will he consolidate on his gains as a possible third force in the region? That could be Mimiko’s dilemma at present.
2. Labour Party Chair Nwanyanwu’s Gaffe
Politicians, particularly Nigerian politicians, say all s of things when on the campaign train. The other day, the Labour Party chair Dan Nwanyanwu, in a fit of misguided effusion, claimed that an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner Prof. Lai Olurode is an ACN sympathizer and should not be allowed to lead the INEC team overseeing the Ondo poll. Of course, INEC chairman, Prof, Attahiru Jega has put Nwuanyanwu where he truly belongs. He dismissed his ranting for what it is: a wolf cry. Jega stood by Olurode’s integrity, saying there was no basis whatsoever for him to question the commissioner’s fidelity. Now that LP candidate, Governor Mimiko, has won the election, Nwanyanwu’s gaffe and attempt to assail the professor’s integrity must have stared him badly in the face. If only he knew that what the Iwo, Osun State-born Olurode carried onto the INEC job are his sound, impeccable pedigree as an author, activist, intellectual and university don (he was at one time dean, Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Lagos). I wish Nwanyanwu knew Olurode well enough: a professor who places a lot of premium on playing straight and fair not only in his conduct in public office but generally in his dealings and relationships with people. He is a true Omoluabi, which means a well brought-up Yoruba man.
3. Like Oshiomhole Like Mimiko
Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Mimiko are lucky chaps indeed. This is not talking about their victories at the recent polls, their re-election for a second term, well-deserved as it were, I’m however talking about the fact that though they are in the opposition parties in the country (ACN and LP) and given the penchant of parties in our clime to challenge the results of election they knew they clearly lost, the ruling PDP in Abuja stood by their victories. The party leaders in Abuja have refused to challenge the governors’ re-elections, despite the remonstrations of their candidates in the two states. Like General Airhiavbere that is challenging Oshiomhole’s election at the tribunal, Chief Olusola Oke has alleged also irregularities in Mimiko’s election and is threatening to approach the tribunal. However, the PDP national leadership and Aso Rock have no problem with Oshiomhole’s and Mimiko’s elections and have told their candidates in Edo and Ondo states, Airhiavbere and Oke, they are on their own. Why is Abuja comfortable with them? Relax, it’s all about 2015.
4. ACN: What To Do
The ACN says it is still studying the outcome of the Ondo election. In short, the party is yet to concede defeat. But I think the ACN did noble recording the kind of feat it recorded and moving the party that is virtually non-existent in that state six months ago to the point that it is at present. What to do now, in my view, is to accept defeat as true democrats and consolidate on its present gains going forward and prepare for the next four years. Meanwhile, assuming its candidate Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who is still mouthing irregularities in the election, goes ahead with his threat and challenges Mimiko’s election, one mischievous friend of mine wondered what abracadabra the party would perform to move from number three position, as shown by the results of the election, to number one position.