ACN to Voters: Give Mimiko Red Card

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Oct 16, 2012 No Comments ›› josh

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday urged Ondo State residents to vote for Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) on Saturday.

Akande, who raised Akeredolu’s hand at the party’s “Redemption Rally” in Akure, the state capital, before presenting the party’s flags to him and his running mate, Dr. Paul Akintelure, declared that the lawyer-turned politician would be the next governor.

The former Osun State governor told the crowd of party supporters: “I have not come to waste your time here. I have seen you at Ikare, Ondo and Ore. Now, I am in Akure to give Labour Party a red card. As far as I am concerned, Labour Party is gone in Ondo State.”

Tinubu, who was cheered by the huge crowd, said Governor Olusegun Mimiko is unfit for the office for another four years because he has not performed well, adding that he runs a government of deceit and treachery.

The ACN national leader said the governor took delight in betraying those who lifted him up in his political career.

Tinubu took exception to Mimiko’s claim that he did not lend him a helping hand when his mandate was stolen in 2007, recalling that he shunned the warning by associates that “a leopard could not change his skin”. He also acknowledged Mimiko’s remarks that he is a godfather, saying that he is a positive godfather who has successfully nurtured many followers now making waves in the Southwest.

He said after receiving that red card on Saturday, “Mimiko should go out”.

Tinubu said: “I am a positive godfather. I am happy that I have contributed to the success of Governors Fashola, Adams Oshiomhole, Ajimobi, Aregbesola, Amosun and Fayemi. They say Fashola has performed. But did they help me to discover him? If godfatherism is not good, Christians will not adopt it because when a child is born and they want to christen him in the church, they will say he should have godfather.

“Godfatherism by Tinubu is for development. I have poor people I sent to school. I will not want Awo’s shoes. They are big for me. All I want is development for the Southwest. Go and slaughter Labour Party with your votes and send Mimiko away.”

The ACN national leader described Akeredolu as a credible candidate, who is full of honour and integrity.

He said: “He is a versatile, competent and a hardworking lawyer. He is the best for the governorship.”

Aregbesola, who rendered three songs before his speech, said Mimiko and LP planned to divide Yorubaland, stressing that his continuation in office would be a setback to regional integration – the Southwest’s plan for development.

The Osun governor stressed: “Nobody can divide Yoruba, a race united by one language, culture and tradition. Yoruba families have tentacles across the race. That is why an Ilesa man will have relatives in Akoko and Akure man will have relatives in Ondo. We want integration. Integration is the key to development in the Southwest. No state can survive without mutual cooperation and collaboration.

“Before state creation by the military, we were one. It is fraudulent to say that we should tackle the challenge of development independent of one another. We can benefit from comparative advantage. We have done everything to explain this to the Ondo State governor about the advantage of collaboration, but he refused. He prefers to walk alone. When a snake walks alone, it suffers.

“Nigeria is becoming fragile. The nations constituting the nation-state are peeping at the future. You cannot be adamant in Yorubaland. We need to prepare to salvage Yoruba, which includes Ondo State. Ondo cannot be isolated from Lagos, Edo, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun states. Ondo must come home. Two heads are better than one. We must cooperate to survive together. Ondo Sate is important. It cannot be left behind. That is why we must hew the Iroko”.

From 8 am, the venue of the rally, Democracy Park, on Oba Adesida Road, had been filled to the brim. The entire environment stretching to the adjacent streets leading to the park, was aglow with festivities. Banners of various forms and inscribed with messages sensitising the people to the imperative of power shift welcomed party members from the 18 local governments. Brooms, the symbol of the leading progressive party, filled the air as party supporters, decked in customised blue t-shirts and fez caps, danced to the talking drums of itinerant drummers.

Also on the stage thrilling the crowd were ace musicians, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde and Jesse King Buga, Ewi exponent Arowolo Elaloro and renowned actor Ojo Arowosafe (a.k.a Fadeyi Oloro), who entertained the party faithful with wisecracks. So were the cultural troupe from Owo, Akeredolu’s home town, and some masqueraders from other towns in the Sunshine State. There were youths and students, and representatives of Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, Efik, Igbo and Ebira communities.

Students under the aegis of the Federation of Oodua Students Union, led by Comrade Stephen Owolabi, showed up in solidarity with Akeredolu, a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). They explained that they were captivated by the integration agenda, adding that the plan should not exclude Ondo State.

At 12.30 pm, the rally kicked off with an opening prayer by the grassroots politician, Olayato Aribo, who prayed for the success of the party at the poll. Sighting Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at the entrance to the park, party supporters swarmed him. But he, his deputy, Mrs. Tawa Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Yemi Ikuforiji, were promptly ushered to the podium.

Barely one hour after, Akeredolu, accompanied by his wife, Betty, and a party leader from the South District, Wale Akinterinwa, rode into the park, amid cheers.

The atmosphere became more electrifying, with the arrival of Tinubu, Akande, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba, on the podium.

Tinubu said: “Mimiko said I did not spend money for him when he was fighting to reclaim his stolen mandate.

He is lying. Wole Olanipekun and Akeredolu were among the counsel. Luke seven, verse six says ‘don’t give what is holy to a dog and herd. He is a traitor.

“For four years he has been ruling here, he said he was building mega schools. You don’t need mega schools in Ondo State. You don’t have the population and density. In Lagos, we did it because we had 7,000 pupils on the spot. In Oshodi, we had 10,000 pupils. He is using the contracts to sweep away your money.”

Quoting Mathew Chapter seven, Verse 17, the former Lagos State governor said that any tree that does not bear good fruit shall be cut down and thrown into fire.

Lawyer Osinbajo went to Bristol and Israel in search of a forensic expert. I put money down. Mimiko is ungrateful. He lacks character. He has been a traitor for long. Who has Mimiko worked with and did not betray? Let us assumed that he did not betray Bola Tinubu. But he betrayed Adefarati, who made him Commissioner for Health. Agagu made him Secretary to Government; he betrayed him. He said it should be one governor, one term. He deserted Agagu during electioneering. He also betrayed Obasanjo who made him minister of housing”.

Stressing that the election is critical to the integration of the Southwest, the ACN leader said Mimiko, who, according to him, has no plan for Ondo State, is an obstacle that must be swept aside.

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who addressed the rally before the arrival of the national leaders, received a loud ovation as he spoke in both Yoruba and English. His presence put paid to the rumour that he had endorsed the LP candidate. The comrade-governor said the destiny of Ondo people is in their hands.

He said: “Use your vote to sweep away poverty, misery, disease and bad governance.”

Tinubu warned against rigging, saying that it would be resisted. “he said: ‘Don’t fight them. We don’t want violence. We just want to win this election. But, if they say they will rig, resist them. If they give you money or rice, take it, but vote ACN.”

Oshiomhole stressed: “Only you alone can make the change you desire. If you turn out on Saturday, vote and be ready to defend your votes; you will achieve success. It is not over until it is over. You must vote and police your vote to the collation centres”.

Fashola, who spoke before him, advised the people to vote and shine their eyes. He said votes may not count on Nigeria, unless they are defended at the polling units and collation centres.

The Lagos governor dissected the Mimiko administration, wondering why the governor could neither construct roads nor provide potable water.

Fashola added: “There is work for Ondo people to do. We have only come to lend a helping hand. Southwest has been under progressive banner since the days of Awolowo. You know where the shoe pinches. Do you like the party in power today? Is the governor doing well? Do you want him to continue? Which government do you want? If it is ACN you want, vote the broom on Saturday.

“We have seen what is going on in the Southwest. I don’t live here. It is the people of Ondo State that say they want change. ACN will come to Ondo State with a school of entrepreneurship school to train our youths so that they can be self-reliant. Our party is growing. The evidence is seen Edo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti. In Ondo here, they cannot give you road. You don’t have water. In three years, 15 mini water works were completed in Lagos. One of your children, Dr. (Segun) Abraham did it for us in Lagos. Why can’t Ondo have water? Fayemi has been commissioning water and road projects in Ekiti in the last two weeks.

“There is work to do in Ondo. Let each one of you mobilise 10 voters each to vote for ACN on Saturday. Vote, shine your eyes and defend your votes.”

Fayemi, who started his speech in English, ended it in Yoruba, as the people insisted that he should address them in the native tongue. He obliged, speaking in both Yoruba and Ekiti, as he extended the greetings of the people from the “Fountain of Knowledge” to kith and kins in Ondo, Akure, Owo, Ikare, Ugbo, Mahin, Omotoso, Olokola and other towns and villages in the state. He urged Ekiti in Ondo State to vote for ACN so that they can enjoy the democratic fruits where they reside as their relations savour them at home.

The Ekiti governor noted that the core issues today are liberation and integration, adding that they are central to the development and progress of Yorubaland.

He said: “We are talking about liberation of Yoruba. It is not only about Ondo State. It is the battle for peace, progress and development in Yorubaland and all those parts which Awolowo gave good governance. We stand by the truth in our party. Check out with the class captain of our governors, Fashola and what our deputy captain, Oshiomhole, is doing in Edo. The same thing Fashola did in Lagos. The same thing we are doing in Ekiti. “If you were in Ekiti in the last two days, we have have been commissioning roads. We have constructed Ekiti roads up to the boundaries between Ekiti and Ondo State. Ekiti has better roads than Ondo. Compare our road in Igbara-Odo with the one in Igbara-Oke, between Ise and Emure-Ile, between Iro and Oyin.

“In Ekiti, we pay monthly stipends to elderly people. We don’t have oil money in Ekiti; only little in Edo; we don’t have oil money in Osun, Ogun and Lagos states. We use our sweat to develop our states. The progress of our people is our concern. This will be achieved in Ondo State by the votes on Saturday.

“Remember, after retrieving my stolen mandate in 2010, I was in Akure. Mimiko was the first person I visited. But if your relative is departing from the path of progress, you bid him farewell. We don’t want anybody that will sell Yoruba.

Ajimobi, who prayed for Akeredolu’s victory in Islamic, Christian and traditional ways, said that victory is certain, advising the voters to be courageous.

He likened Mimiko to an Iroko, the king of trees. But he quickly added that Akeredolu is like a clay, which will be used to bury Iroko, when it withers.

“If you vote for Akeredolu, then, God will answer your prayers. If you are a labourer for four years and you don’t have a cloth to show for it, won’t you retrace your steps? For four years, you have laboured in vain. Akeredolu will win and bury Iroko,” Ajimobi said.

Osoba reminded the people of their heroic resistance to bad governments, urging them to live to expectation on Saturday. He said: “You Ondo people know how to reject the traitor. In 1983, election was rigged against Ajasin. You rejected it. Your state was the first to reject an imposed governor. As you chased Omoboriowo away, chase away Mimiko. As I told you in Ore, we gather here for the wake-keep of Labour Party. On Saturday, we will bury it.

At the rally were Ogun State Deputy Governor Segun Adesegun, former Oyo State Deputy Governor Iyiola Oladokun, Ekiti House of Assembly Speaker Dr. Femi Omirin, his Lagos State counterpart Yemi Ikuforiji, Southwest ACN leader Senator James Kolawole, former Benue State Governor George Akume, ACN House of Representatives Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, Lagos ACN chairman Otunba Oladele Ajomale, his Osun State counterpart, Lowo Adebiyi, Ekiti ACN chairman Chief Jide Awe, Cross River ACN chairman Mr. Ellah, Abuja ACN chairman Faruk Osuma, National ACN Youth Leader Biriki Ebisemiri, Alhaji Kola Oseni, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, Chief Kemi Nelson and Commissioner for Justice Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose.

Also there were former Ondo State Attorney-General and former House of Representatives Chief Whip Mr. Olawale Oshun, Prince Olu Adegboro, Dr. Akerele Adu, Senators Ayo Adeseun, Titus Olupitan, Ganiyu Solomin, Gbenga Ashafa, Ajayi Boroffice, Gbenga Kaka, Babajide Omoworare , Femi Lanlehin and Tony Adeniyi; federal legislators Ofedayo Abegunde, James Faleke, Adeola Olamilekan, and Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Dr. Jayeola Ajatta, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, Pa Olatona Oguntade, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye, Chief Raheem Daramola, Southwest ACN Publicity Secretary Ayo Afolabi, Osun State Environment Commissioner Bola Ilori, Lagos State House of Assembly Majority Leader Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye, Lagos lawmakers Segun Olulade, Ipoola Omisore, Omowumi Edet, Bimpe Akinsola, Former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Mr. Dele Alake, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) spokesman Kunle Famoriyo, Amuwo Odofin council chairman Ayodele Adewale, his Ifako-Ijaye and Ojokoro council counterparts, Toba Oke and Olabinjo, Mr. Kayode Aremo, Tunji Osati, Ifedayo Abegunde, Osun State Secretary to Government Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Special Adviser on Environment Bola Ilori.

Lagos State Special Adviser on Information and Strategy Lateef Raji, Ondo ACN Women Leader Erelu Modupe Johnson, Ondo ACN Campaign Committee Chairman Comrade Sola Iji, Ondo ACN Campaign Organisation Chairman Tayo Alasoadura, Gboyega Adefarati, Tunde Braimoh, Gbenga Adedipe, Joe Igbokwe, Pa Abiodun Sunmola, Lanre Odubote, Dr. Doyin Odebowale, Femi Aborissade, Bisi Yusuf, Rotimi Obadofin, Ademorin Kuye, sLai Mohammed, Prince Fisoye Bajowa, Pa Alabi Macfoy, Jaja Tayo Abidakun, Ibunkun Fakeye, leader of Total Loyalty Group, Toyin Balogun, Tokunbo Ajasin, Osun State Commissioner for Justice Wale Afolabi, Southwest ACN Youth Leader Mr. Enilolobo, Tunde Imolehin, Ondo ACN Youth leader Enus Mohammed, Mrs. Ronke Ojo, Idowu Otetubi, Banji Ajiloge, Mr. Akinwale, and Chief Wale Omojuwa, Diran Iyantan and Femi Idris.

Hausa Community leader Mallam Oniege Garuba, Dr. Segun Abraham, Akinsehinwa Apata, Muyiwa Oloro, Mrs. Morenike Adesina-Williams, Chief Sola Adekunle, Asiwaju Olowu, Secretary of the Oodua Peoples Congress Dare Adesope, Tope Babaleye, Femi Adekanmbi, chief lucky Adedatiwa, Mrs. Grace Ayemola and ACN-USA representatives Tunde Doherty and Ayo Adigun.

The party chairman, Pa Sola Adesoji, expressed satisfaction with the large turnout, saying that victory is certain on Saturday.

Alasoadura, leader of the party in Akure North, advised the people to be vigilant. He said: “LP knows that the time is up. They are importing guns and training people in Israel to disrupt election in Ondo State. They are stocking Government House and hotels with guns. We remind them that when some people wanted to force themselves on the people in the Second Republic, hell was let loose. They want to rig elections here. It will not be possible. Our leader, Dr Akerele Adu, told me that they have brought ballot papers to the palace at Ijare. It will not work. They said they are already voting at Ijoka, Akure. It will be futile. Mimiko is behaving as Goliath. David used ordinary string to defeat him. We will defeat Mimiko with our votes. “He said he is Iroko. Iroko belongs to the forest. Iroke means a tree. Gbasibe, their slogan, means thieving. If you know how LP has ruined Ondo State, you will weep. The former President Yar’ Adua said ex-militants should be trained. Instead of declaring N1.8 million as the money used for the training, they claimed N300 million. They awarded contracts for 20 bus stop projects. They said it cost N80m each. We have the papers in the bank. They awarded contracts for roundabouts for N955 million. The road for St Peters College is not up to one kilometre. It was awarded for N378 million. Dome project became a doomed project, although it was awarded at the cost of N3.2 billion. Three years ago, they began work on Akure City Stadium. They wasted a lot of money running to millions. It has not been delivered.

“By the grace of God, the day has come. Vote and defend your votes. What they want to do is to rig. Don’t be afraid of their guns. Prepare to resist them.”

Igbokwe, who spoke in Igbo, said: “Look at the wonders of ACN in Lagos. Don’t you want Ondo State to enjoy the same lease of life? Look at what is happening in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, and edo. Why should Ondo be different. Enough is enough. Vote Akeredolu for change and progress”.

Akeredolu thanked the party leaders and supporters for their solidarity, promising not to disappoint Ondo State. He requested the ACN members to pray and fast on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday preceding the election.

He said: “By the grace of God, two of us, Dr. Paul Akintelure and I, will run the administration together. He is a doctor. He has hospital in Lagos. He is not a doctor who cannot give injection. We are already where we are going to. We will win this election. It is because we depend on God.”


The Nation

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