Mimiko Courts Buhari To Avert Crisis Over Ondo Election
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has again met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors with reports suggesting that the forthcoming governorship election in the state was the agenda for the meeting.
The election will hold on Saturday, November 26, only five days away.
Mimiko, after holding talks with the president for about 30 minutes, also went to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, with whom he met for another 30 minutes.
After the meetings, the Ondo State governor, who is also the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors forum said he had come to brief the president as he feared there might be a security situation in the state
“As the chief security officer of my state, if there is any credible threat to security, I owe the responsibility to Nigerians to inform Mr. President of what is going on in the state,” he said.
Mimiko also denied the claims that he was nursing the idea of dumping the PDP for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that the governor went in person to receive the president on Saturday when he visited Ondo state to attend APC’s campaign rally, but Mimiko said he was only paying the president the courtesies due to him.
He said: “Mr. President was in my state to campaign for his party. I extended to him the courtesies of receiving him at the airport and seeing him off as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, not as APC.
“I understand that people have speculated that this means I am going to APC. There is nothing of such. I only extended him normal courtesies that protocols demand.
“And I have also come to brief him about the security situation in my state.”
Asked whether his faction of PDP was planning to form another party in the face of the current leadership crisis, he said: “I am just concentrating on the case of my party in court.”
Recall that Mimiko’s preferred candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, is facing an uphill task in his quest to be part of Saturday’s election, following the replacement of his name with that of Jimoh Ibrahim.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had said that its decision to include Ibrahim’s name in place of Jegede was based on a court judgment, delivered by Okon Abang of the federal High Court Abuja.
An appeal to that judgement is still awaiting ruling at the Appeal Court. Judgement was suspended last Friday by the Appeal court panel handling the case, pending the determination of some injunctions filed by the defendants before the Supreme Court.
The PDP has since called for a postponement of the election, pending the determination of the case, but INEC and the APC would have none of it.