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ONDO ELECTION: With Tinubu out, ‘federal might’ confronts Mimiko

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ONDO ELECTION: With Tinubu out, federal might confronts Mimiko

The Ondo gubernatorial election is set for a tense but interesting scenario as forces clearly loyal to President Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, John Odigie- Oyegun, confront ‘home boy’ Governor Olusegun Mimiko and his godson, Eyitayo Jegede.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, acclaimed National Leader of APC, having been shoved aside in a fiery power play that sidelined his protégés, Olusola Oke and Segun Abrahams, will watch from a distance, most likely, with arms akimbo.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, set the stage on Monday, when it published the final list of candidates for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State with significant surprises.

With 28 candidates shortlisted for the election, INEC has effectively closed the door on nomination and substitution of candidates by political parties for the election.

Curiously, two names were missing on the final list and they are those of Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy, (AD).

Though INEC is yet to make any official statement or give reasons why the two were omitted, there are several conjectures as to why the electoral umpire snubbed the two ‘candidates’ who are largely perceived to wield serious political clout, enough to upset the equation. One safe guess is that both Oke and Ibrahim may have arrived the scene too late as INEC was not sufficiently involved in the process leading up to their selection.

Another intriguing aspect is the cold calculation by some analysts that there may be orchestrated plans to actively put Tinubu in check by stopping his relaunch of AD, seen as a viable political structure, through the Ondo gubernatorial election.

With Tinubu’s influence largely curtailed, at least momentarily, the latest development has reduced the governorship contest into a two-horse race between the federal might, as represented by forces in APC that are backing the ticket of Rotimi Akeredolu, and Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is working hard to plant his preferred candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, as successor.

Strangely, Oke and Jimoh, beyond feeble attempts at dragging the National Judicial Council (NJC) into the fray and castigating INEC, are yet to officially issue any statements regarding their political fate in the November 10 election. However, observers hold that their seeming quiet disposition is a pointer to some ferocious underground realignments going on in the Southwest and beyond.

Read also: ONDO ELECTION: INEC omits Ibrahim, Oke’s names in final list of candidates

Contending forces are united in either stopping the push of APC faction loyal to President Buhari into the Southwest or practically confining the Tinubu faction to just a handful of states namely, Lagos and Osun. Admittedly, the latter’s influence has considerably waned in Ogun where Governor Ibikunle Amosun and former President Olusegun Obasanjo hold sway while Oyo State remains highly unpredictable.

The tense battle line is heightened by the unflinching support that would come from the presidency and national leadership of APC in support of Akeredolu against Mimiko’s candidate, Jegede, who would be banking on the track record of his former boss.

Going for Mimiko is his giant-killer reputation in Ondo which had seen him emerge from near obscurity to national prominence. In his first coming, Mimiko, running under the Labour Party that was practically non-existent in the state, caused an upset but was rigged out until the Court of Appeal gave judgement in his favour. In 2012, he battled against the then federal might, represented by the PDP, and an entire Southwest block under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and won!

Given fierce political jostling, there would seem to be so much at stake in this election and this has raised fears of potential upheavals, with Ondo being notorious for violent political resistance.

What is certain, though, is that this is one election that will be too close to call. Will Mimiko and his gang survive another ‘federal onslaught’ as they did in 2012? The answer may be blowing in the wind but sure depends on INEC’s ability and capacity to conduct a free, fair and credible election.

 

 

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0 Comments

  1. victoria wilson

    October 26, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Ondo election is going to be the toughest election….enough power tussle. with the leading parties having sectional conflict within.

  2. Olawale james anifowoshe

    October 26, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    The jagaban is no longer in control, the boys have become Men. Ondo’s election will be the determining factor to a lot of assumptions.

  3. JOHNSON PETER

    October 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Jegede will surely lose but akeredolu will win. The gods have spoken.

    • Nonso Ezeugo

      October 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Is like your grandfather is a native doctor this wone you now know the winner

  4. yanju omotodun

    October 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    This is going to be an epoch-making election. Ondo election will determine if APC will retain power beyond 2019 or not. Also it will determine if Tinubu is a pillar on his own or not. I can’t wait to see the outcome.

    • Joy Madu

      October 27, 2016 at 11:45 am

      same here to because i want to see tinubu down fall and smile

  5. Amarachi Okoye

    October 27, 2016 at 11:11 am

    THIS TIME AROUND TINUBU HAS FAIL BECAUSE THERE WILL BE NO CHANCE FOR HIM TO MANLIPULATE

  6. Amaka Okoro

    October 27, 2016 at 11:30 am

    what a dream come through for tinubu who has failed this time

  7. chichi emerue

    October 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

    what an election of joy that i know will end as free and fair to bring tinubu down

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