Incumbent governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has sent a congratulatory message to the Rotimi Akeredolu, the winner of the governorship election held in the state last Saturday.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Eni Akinsola and made available to newsmen in Akure, the state capital, Mimiko said “it behoves on me as Governor of Ondo State to congratulate the Governor-elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and wish him success in the challenging task of governing our dear state.”
“It is incumbent upon me as Governor to facilitate smooth transition between my government and the incoming one. I will, to this end, provide the ambience for a smooth and seamless transition process,” the governor stated.
Mimiko, while expressing appreciation to the people of Ondo State, also promised to continue to provide quality leadership until his handover date.
He said: “I use this medium to express my sincere appreciation to all our citizens for the very peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves throughout the election period.
“I will not waiver in providing needed leadership to our dear state till the last day of my term.”
He called on the people to continue to work hard to sustain the peace that has been witnessed in the state for the past seven years.
It is surprising that Mimiko who is from the PDP will congratulate the APC governor-elect, when the national leadership of his party has openly rejected the election results.
In a statement released on Monday by the PDP national publicity secretary, the party called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel the exercise.
It also urged the party’s candidate in the election, Eyitayo Jegede, to challenge the entire electoral process in the court of law.
Mimiko’s actions by hurriedly congratulating Akeredolu may lend further credence to the speculations that he is planning to dump the PDP for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that the outgoing governor won his first term election on the platform of the Labour Party, before decamping to the PDP during his campaign for the second tenure.
He was recently accused of planning to join the APC after he had gone to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari when he visited the state for the Ondo APC campaign rally.
He however denied the reports, insisting that the gesture had no political undertone as he was merely following protocol by going to personally welcome the number one citizen of the country.