From Charles Adegbite, Ado-Ekiti
The Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade, at the weekend described the re-election of the Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko in the October 20 governorship election as a testimony that the era of electoral manipulation was over in Nigeria.
Olubolade, who hailed the electorate and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct during the hot political contest, said Mimiko’s victory had attested to the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan was sincere with the institutionalization of credible electoral system in Nigeria.
The minister, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while briefing journalists in Ado Ekiti after the party’s stakeholders’ meeting aimed at proffering solutions to the internal crisis rocking the PDP in the state, said: “With this victory, our electoral system is moving away from the era of imposition.”
He described Mimiko’s victory as a reward for good performance in office and urged other leaders to learn how to manage both human and material resources in their care for them to be celebrated in and out of office. Former governors Ayodele Fayose and Segun Oni were missing at the meeting, but both were reported to have sent their apologies for not attending .
Olubolade submitted that, “President Goodluck Jonathan believes in free and fair election because flawed elections bring about wrong leaders and a waste of resources, so Mimiko’s victory is good for our democracy.” He said: “If you serve the people very well, your re-election will be a walk-over and the gains of democracy will continue to increase among the populace that you are elected to serve.”
On the rumour that he has interest in the 2014 governorship election in the state, the minister said his ambition could not override the position of his party. He said he was still keeping his ‘ambition in the pocket’ pending the time the party leaders would decide on the election.
The PDP Chairman, Mr Makanjuola Ogundipe, who commented on the reconciliation move being made by the party leaders, said the efforts were already yielding positive results.
He added that the trio of Olubolade, Fayose and Oni, who parted ways after the crisis-beleaguered March 18 Congress election were now united . Ogundipe hinted that the party machinery had started mobilizing the people at the grassroots, assuring that the party would surely reclaim the state from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)in 2014.