•Oke 2nd, Akeredolu 3rd
From TUNDE RAHEEM Akure
The incumbent Governor of Ondo State Dr. Olusegun Mimiko was yesterday declared winner of last Saturday’s governorship election, which was held in the 18 local government areas of the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) in an announcement made by the state Returning Officer, Prof Biyi Daramola, announced in Akure that Mimiko polled 220,499 out of the 594,244 valid votes cast during the election, which was supervised by heavily armed military and police personnel as well as other security agencies.
The Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Abubakar, National Chairman of the INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega and other resident electoral commissioners had relocated to the state since Wednesday last week to oversee preparations for the election in which 13 political parties participated. Dr. Mimiko who is the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) defeated his closest rival, Chief Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by a wide margin of 64, 538 votes. Oke scored 155,961.
The candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu scored a total number of 143, 512 votes to place third. Other parties, which participated in the election performed as follows: ANPP: 1461; APN:751; BNPP:2919; CAP:735; CPN:1931; PPA:1652; BCC:2136.
The summary of the result shows that of the 624,659 votes cast, 30,415 were invalidated, leaving 594,244 as valid votes.
The election widely adjudged to be free and fair went on smoothly without any serious crisis except the restriction of movement, which saw so many travelers stranded at the state’s borders, while the voting lasted.
The atmosphere in the state capital changed immediately Dr Mimiko was pronounced winner as people trooped out, dancing in the streets and praising God for the feat and the INEC for conducting another election perceived to be free and fair.