Olusegun Mimiko, governor of Ondo state, says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has sent the team that “manipulated” the governorship election in Edo state to do the same in Ondo.
Speaking at a press conference in Akure, the Ondo state capital, Mimiko said plans had been concluded to announce Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of Saturday’s exercise.
He urged the people to resist any attempt to steal their mandate, and said the “ungodly” process will not repeat itself in Ondo.
“We have just been told that the same team of election ad hoc staff, which masterminded the largely controversial Edo election have been sent to our state to deliver a preconceived result for Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, the APC candidate,” he said.
“I have to state this here and now, that our people will not accept the method, men and process unleashed on Edo.
“We reject unequivocally the mission of this team in our state. The Edo team did not only call off collation by 9pm on that day, party agents, monitors and journalists were ordered out of the collation allowing for final subversion of the will of the electorate.
“We shall not allow such an ungodly process to be repeated in our dear state. The team it sent to Edo, which it is sending to Ondo is peopled by rabid supporters of APC. People that have displayed their brazen disdain for justice and fair play in the Edo election.”
Mimiko said the electoral body ought to shift the poll in order to give Eyitayo Jegede, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), enough time to prepare.
He said tags and materials needed for the agents of the PDP are not yet ready.
Mimiko also alleged that some PDP agents selected by Jimoh Ibrahim of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction have vowed to work for Akeredolu.
“If INEC was truly objective, it would have erred on the side of caution and save Ondo from the polluting influence of this ad hoc team,” he said.
“INEC would have as a matter of fact, shifted this election to present a semblance of a free, fair and open contest. I am by this asking you the good people of Ondo state to be vigilant and insist on the sanctity of the ballot.
“Efforts have been concerted by INEC forces within the APC to prevent the emergence of a credible and electable candidate for the PDP.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this ungodly process started when INEC in flagrant disregard of extant laws governing elections removed the name of EyitayoJegede on the basis of a Justice Okon Abang order that has since been declared as a fraud by the supreme court.
“We wondered why INEC removed the name of a man, who emerged from a party primary that was conducted in a free, fair and open environment
“INEC discarded all legal advice not to substitute Eyitayo Jegede by its own chosen consortium of lawyers. Several other hurdles were placed on the ways of the PDP candidate to the extent that he did not become a candidate until about 48 hours to election, on the directive of the Court of Appeal
“INEC did not release the list of voters register to the PDP until yesterday. This is a clear infraction of its own laws and against its advertised ‘Time Table and Schedule of Activities for the Ondo election. INEC refused to publish Eyitayo Jegede’s name for 30 days as stipulated in Section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010. INEC denied Eyitayo Jegede the right to submit his party agents’ list at least 7 days before the election as stipulated in Section 45 of the Electoral Act 2010 among many others!
“As we speak, tags for ward collation officers are not available for PDP Ward agents, this is unacceptable. More than the above, the agents on INEC list are agents submitted by a man, already aptly described by the courts as an impostor. A man who openly showed he is working as a fifth columnist in the Ondo election.
“We were expected to run a race with our hands tied behind our back while INEC also goes ahead to foist a ‘wuruwuru to the answer’ result. Every resident of Ondo state knows we are free and fair people who however abhor impunity and open rape of justice. We shall not take this! In this instance, injustice stares us in the face and we are about being treated like slaves and a conquered people in our own country.”