Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko on Tuesday appealed to the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega to ensure that the vote of the people in Saturday’s governorship election count saying that the people of the State would not allow any manipulation of the election in order to avert the scenario of the 1983 election when attempts were made to subvert the will of people in the State.
Mimiko who rounded his re-election camping tour with a mega rally in Akure, the State capital on Tuesday commended the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan for assuring that there would be free and fair election in Ondo State urged the INEC boss to key into this assurance and thus ensure that those who have vowed to rig the election and who have been doing a lot of untoward things in the State are not allowed to subvert the peoples’ popular wish on Saturday.
His words: “We want to thank Mr President for giving Nigeria a free and fair election in Edo. He promised and he delivered and we believe that he is a man of his words. He has promise that there will be a free and fair election in Ondo State and we also believe him.
“We are appealing to INEC to please for the sake of our nation Nigeria, for the sake of peace in our land to ensure that election on Saturday is not manipulated. I want to appeal to Prof Jega that it is not enough for you to be a man of integrity; you must also ensure that all officers under you are not unduly influenced because we will reject any manipulation of our election in Ondo State.
Mimiko also rallied the people of the State to be ready to defend their votes and resist those who despite the fact that they are not on ground had vowed to rig the election saying that the people must defend their vote and shame those who have vowed to capture them and take them into second slavery on Saturday saying:
Those who play god, I say foul on them because the people of Ondo state would not bow to a foreign god. We will only worship the only one true Living God in Ondo State. Ondo State is better managed than any State in the South West and woe betides those who want to steal our vote on Saturday”.
The Governor who also used the occasion to berate the leaders of opposition parties in the State for castigating his numerous developmental projects said they lacked depth and the vision to comprehend the deep philosophy behind those projects for which accolades have come his way from far and wide even from international communities and organisations. He therefore advised them to go back to school and study very hard as it was obvious that they lacked the prerequisite savvy to lead the people given their shallow thinking.
Governor Mimiko also used the occasion to put paid to insinuations that he betrayed the leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said he betrayed anybody nor had any pact with them.
And in an apparent reference to Senator Ahmed Tinubu who on Monday led leaders of the party to the State wherein he abused Mimiko for not being a progressive, Mimiko said those with cloudy pedigree and questionable track records must be wary of their public conducts. He also reiterated that he was more of a progressive than any of them having taken progressivism into governance and impacting positively on the lives of the people of Ondo State as Governor in the last three and a half years.
Mimiko however assured that if re-elected, he would work for the people more tirelessly and bring developments hitherto unimaginable to the State adding that the masses of Ondo State deserved to be given a fair chance to compete and hold their own with their privileged counterpart.
Earlier, Chief Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Federal Government and a Presidential Candidate of theAlliance for Democracy (AD), took a swipe at the leader of the ACN, Senator Bola Tinubu who was in the State on Monday wherein he castigated Governor Mimiko, saying Tinubu portrayed lack of respect and showed that he was not a progressive.
In one breath, Falae described members of ACN as fake democrats who betrayed the course of progressives in Nigeria.
He, however, assured them of a resounding defeat on Saturday saying the people of the State would not associate with fake progressives who are only out to milk the resources of the State under a phantom and questionable integration agenda which he noted had brought governance in the South West States ruled by the CAN to its kneels