Battle for Ondo House of Assembly hots up
This was confirmed through a telephone conversation with the State Public Relation Officer of APC, Omo’ba Abayomi Adesanya, who stated further that his party has been in mutual understanding with the Ogunye-led faction of PDP to end the dictatorial tendencies of Mimiko and the national leadership of PDP.
Adesanya told The Guardian that the embittered faction of the party worked with the APC in the state to defeat the PDP in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
He debunked the rumour that the aggrieved PDP leaders had decamped to the APC but stated that his party is working on that; nevertheless, the accord entails that all the 26 APC candidates emerge in the next election through the mutual understanding to vote against the PDP candidates in protest.
“We have been enjoying a very good relationship with them. They too know that the interest of the state is very paramount. We have to rescue the state and give her a place of pride among other progressing states of the federation. It is not that they have totally decamped to the APC, but the initial accord is to ensure all APC house of assembly candidates emerge through the ballot come Saturday,” Adesanya said.
Meanwhile, the party in a statement signed by the PRO, had earlier alleged the ruling party in the state that: “The governor is planning to use all arsenals within his disposal to manipulate the April 11 elections.
“He has been begging a cross section of people; the House of Assembly members, Labour Union leaders, Civil Servants, Local Government workers, teachers and artisans, to vote for the PDP so as to secure majority in the House of Assembly to continue to perpetrate his dastardly act in the State.”
According to the APC, “Governor Mimiko having lost touch with reality and popularity among the people is trying to use force and manipulative means to win the House of Assembly election desperately. As a matter of fact, we have it on good authority that the Governor has diverted the sum of N410m of OSOPADEC funds, meant for the development of the oil producing areas (Ilaje), to execute the Assembly election.”
However, the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Banji Okunomo dispelled the allegation and dismissed the political accord as inconsequential, emphasizing that the change, which occurred politically at the national level has no relevance or significance to Ondo State.
He asserted that there is no change of government in Ondo State, and that Governor Olusegun Mimiko would remain the governor of the state till 2017; claiming that nobody should “be disillusioned that a seating governor, popularly elected by the people of the state, can be impeached by anybody.”
Okunomo pleaded that such impression should be wiped off the politics of the state and that: “the deception of change which pervades everywhere and has been the instrument of campaign of the APC and has given them Presidency today, has no relevance to Ondo State.
“The government of Ondo State is not changing; we cannot have governorship election until 2017 when it will be held. It will only be wise of us as a people in our quest for peace, stability and continuity of governance in Ondo State to give support to the government ruling in the state so that we can continue to have development in our state.”
The PDP scribe said that no government has ever embarked on the kind of transformation projects and development, which Governor Mimiko has achieved in the last 6 years, and intoned that the people desire such projects to continue by supporting him and the party’s candidates in the next elections.
“I want to assure you that we have a lot of good plans for the benefits of our people. Our people have only been deceived, and the only way to correct this is to lessen their hearts, not making their hearts hardened against the government in power.”
He compared the state with other neighbouring states in the payment of workers’ salaries and adjudged the government of Mimiko best for excellence despite the economic glut that have plummeted the revenue and allocation from the federation accounts.
Okunomo appealed to the people of the state in the forthcoming election “to go ahead and vote all our Assembly candidates for the Peoples Democratic Party, there is the need for harmony between the executive and legislature in Ondo State. I am appealing to all aggrieved people to see the reason why we must have harmonious government in Ondo State.”
In Ilaje local government, Okunomo said the PDP held a victory-solidarity rally to thank the people of the riverine area for their support for the PDP and resounding victory at the polls during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Okunomo said he believed that they would also declare such solidarity through their votes again by voting for the candidates of the PDP during the next election, which he said has a different circumstance from the Presidential election.
He disclosed that the PDP at the state level is on the drawing board and re-strategizing to ensure a watertight reconciliation with the aggrieved members of the party to win majority of the seats in the Assembly.
“The same victory that we had during the last Saturday election is going to repeat itself too in that area, and I also do know that other areas in Ondo State will follow suit. This is a different election. This is our own election; our own local election and all issues of local concern will be handled locally,” he said.
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