Against expectations, the Action Congress of Nigeria and its candidate in the Ondo State October 20, 2012 governorship election, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), on Sunday declined to congratulate the winner, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
Mimiko, who is the incumbent governor, ran on the platform of the Labour Party, and won by 260,199 while the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Olusola Oke, came second followed by Akeredolu with 143,512 votes.
A statement by the party’s National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, said it recognised the “sovereign right of the people to decide what kind of government they want.”
He said the ACN would “study carefully the general details of the results with a view to taking a final position.”
“1. I have just been told the final results of the Ondo State governorship election.
“As a party of democrats, we in the Action Congress of Nigeria have always known that the choice of who governs has always been that of the people in situations where the electoral process is transparent and credible.
“Therefore, all politicians worthy of their salt must always expect victory or defeat. We recognise that it is the sovereign right of the people to decide what kind of government they want.
“This is the challenge of democracy. Our party believes that there was and still is need for change in Ondo State.
“Thus, our party will study carefully the general details of the results with a view to taking a final position.
“2. Our party has always been and remains proud of our candidate, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and this election has reinforced our confidence in his ability to lead and stimulate life back into the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ondo State.
“Through him, our party will continue to express gratitude to the leadership and general members of our party and to the electorate of Ondo State in general.
“We are glad that they performed that brilliantly in spite of many challenges, glaring lapses in the system and institutional inefficiency in the conduct of Ondo state governorship election.
“3. I must congratulate our teeming members in Ondo state for their hard work at resuscitating the party and putting it in a position of reckoning in such a short time.
“4. Our party will continue this post mortem analysis of the lapses in all the institutions involved in the conduct of the Ondo election.”
Akeredolu, in a statement sent to PUNCH by his spokesman, Idowu Ajanaku said the election was not “a reflection of the people’s choice.”
He said the party’s leaders would meet soon to decide on the way forward.